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close this bookThe Global Greenhouse Regime. Who Pays? (UNU, 1993, 382 p.)
close this folderPart II Resource transfers
close this folder6 North-South transfer
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentObligation to pay indices
View the documentRedistribution of incremental cost
View the documentBenchmarks
View the documentUN scale of payments
View the documentFinancing mechanisms
View the documentConclusion
View the documentNotes and references

UN scale of payments

Negotiations on the allocation of payment are likely to begin with precedent. A commonly used focal point for bargaining is the UN scale of payments. Slightly modified, this scale formed the basis of contributions to the costs of the ozone agreement. A number of other UN trust funds for environmental purposes have also used weighted contributions based on the global assessment scale of the UN General Assembly. In this system, countries are rated according to a number of economic, geographic and demographic factors. The only limit is a 25 per cent ceiling for the US contribution since 1972. The use of differential scales that modify even the UN sliding scale allows countries to participate in an environmental agreement without incurring an insupportable cost. Under the Montreal Protocol, for example, Singapore contributes $1,500 annually but has the same membership rights as the United States which pays $300,000 per year.

Under the UN scale, the North pays about 77 per cent, the East about 14 per cent, and the South about 9 per cent of total UN cost (see Table 6.2 and Figure 6.3). It is interesting to compare this with the obligation-to-pay index referred to earlier. The North's obligation-to-pay is about 73 per cent of global cost; the East's about 20 per cent; and the South's about 7 per cent. Negotiations on protocols to the Climate Change Convention are likely to proceed pragmatically by countries making bids to vary their contribution relative to the UN scale until consensus is reached. The obligation-to-pay index therefore provides a convenient method to analyse the validity of claims for special treatment with respect to the UN scale.

Figure 6.3 UN scale of payments, %