Operationalizing equity and supporting ambition

identifying a more robust approach to ‘respective capabilities’

Sonja Klinsky, David Waskow, Eliza Northrop, Wendi Bevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities’ (CBDR-RC) is a core principle in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) used to operationalize equity, but it could be defined in many ways. To date, the bulk of attention has been on the first part of this principle – CBDR – because of the importance of addressing responsibility. However, we propose that a more robust notion of RC is possible, useful and timely as countries are currently articulating their first Nationally Determined Contributions, a process that is expected to ratchet up over time under the new regime. We combine Sen and Nussbaum's notion of a ‘capabilities approach’ with the framework provided by the UNFCCC to identify five sub-elements of RC and propose metrics for each of them. These sub-elements are human development, economic capacity, resilience to climate impacts, governance capacity, and technical and innovation capacity. We are not proposing replacing discussions of responsibility with those of capabilities. Responsibility remains central to the climate equity discussion. However, differentiation based on responsibility alone may not be adequate to address climate impacts or human development needs, both of which are central to climate equity. Providing countries with a robust approach for articulating RC enhances the overall ability for the principle of CBDR-RC to address the trio of climate equity challenges posed by unequal climate impacts, development status, and responsibility. Moreover, including a more robust notion of capabilities in the operationalization of equity may identify additional means for supporting specific domestic climate policies able to address core development needs in the context of increased carbon constraints and climate impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalClimate and Development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - May 12 2016

Fingerprint

equity
climate
climate effect
responsibility
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
need development
UNO
climate change
innovation capacity
development economics
climate policy
operationalization
environmental policy
resilience
innovation
regime
governance
carbon
ability
economics

Keywords

  • capabilities
  • CBDR-RC
  • equity
  • UNFCCC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Development

Cite this

Operationalizing equity and supporting ambition : identifying a more robust approach to ‘respective capabilities’. / Klinsky, Sonja; Waskow, David; Northrop, Eliza; Bevins, Wendi.

In: Climate and Development, 12.05.2016, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ac410374001945099024b1450eb0211f,
title = "Operationalizing equity and supporting ambition: identifying a more robust approach to ‘respective capabilities’",
abstract = "‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities’ (CBDR-RC) is a core principle in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) used to operationalize equity, but it could be defined in many ways. To date, the bulk of attention has been on the first part of this principle – CBDR – because of the importance of addressing responsibility. However, we propose that a more robust notion of RC is possible, useful and timely as countries are currently articulating their first Nationally Determined Contributions, a process that is expected to ratchet up over time under the new regime. We combine Sen and Nussbaum's notion of a ‘capabilities approach’ with the framework provided by the UNFCCC to identify five sub-elements of RC and propose metrics for each of them. These sub-elements are human development, economic capacity, resilience to climate impacts, governance capacity, and technical and innovation capacity. We are not proposing replacing discussions of responsibility with those of capabilities. Responsibility remains central to the climate equity discussion. However, differentiation based on responsibility alone may not be adequate to address climate impacts or human development needs, both of which are central to climate equity. Providing countries with a robust approach for articulating RC enhances the overall ability for the principle of CBDR-RC to address the trio of climate equity challenges posed by unequal climate impacts, development status, and responsibility. Moreover, including a more robust notion of capabilities in the operationalization of equity may identify additional means for supporting specific domestic climate policies able to address core development needs in the context of increased carbon constraints and climate impacts.",
keywords = "capabilities, CBDR-RC, equity, UNFCCC",
author = "Sonja Klinsky and David Waskow and Eliza Northrop and Wendi Bevins",
year = "2016",
month = "5",
day = "12",
doi = "10.1080/17565529.2016.1146121",
language = "English (US)",
pages = "1--11",
journal = "Climate and Development",
issn = "1756-5529",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Operationalizing equity and supporting ambition

T2 - identifying a more robust approach to ‘respective capabilities’

AU - Klinsky, Sonja

AU - Waskow, David

AU - Northrop, Eliza

AU - Bevins, Wendi

PY - 2016/5/12

Y1 - 2016/5/12

N2 - ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities’ (CBDR-RC) is a core principle in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) used to operationalize equity, but it could be defined in many ways. To date, the bulk of attention has been on the first part of this principle – CBDR – because of the importance of addressing responsibility. However, we propose that a more robust notion of RC is possible, useful and timely as countries are currently articulating their first Nationally Determined Contributions, a process that is expected to ratchet up over time under the new regime. We combine Sen and Nussbaum's notion of a ‘capabilities approach’ with the framework provided by the UNFCCC to identify five sub-elements of RC and propose metrics for each of them. These sub-elements are human development, economic capacity, resilience to climate impacts, governance capacity, and technical and innovation capacity. We are not proposing replacing discussions of responsibility with those of capabilities. Responsibility remains central to the climate equity discussion. However, differentiation based on responsibility alone may not be adequate to address climate impacts or human development needs, both of which are central to climate equity. Providing countries with a robust approach for articulating RC enhances the overall ability for the principle of CBDR-RC to address the trio of climate equity challenges posed by unequal climate impacts, development status, and responsibility. Moreover, including a more robust notion of capabilities in the operationalization of equity may identify additional means for supporting specific domestic climate policies able to address core development needs in the context of increased carbon constraints and climate impacts.

AB - ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities’ (CBDR-RC) is a core principle in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) used to operationalize equity, but it could be defined in many ways. To date, the bulk of attention has been on the first part of this principle – CBDR – because of the importance of addressing responsibility. However, we propose that a more robust notion of RC is possible, useful and timely as countries are currently articulating their first Nationally Determined Contributions, a process that is expected to ratchet up over time under the new regime. We combine Sen and Nussbaum's notion of a ‘capabilities approach’ with the framework provided by the UNFCCC to identify five sub-elements of RC and propose metrics for each of them. These sub-elements are human development, economic capacity, resilience to climate impacts, governance capacity, and technical and innovation capacity. We are not proposing replacing discussions of responsibility with those of capabilities. Responsibility remains central to the climate equity discussion. However, differentiation based on responsibility alone may not be adequate to address climate impacts or human development needs, both of which are central to climate equity. Providing countries with a robust approach for articulating RC enhances the overall ability for the principle of CBDR-RC to address the trio of climate equity challenges posed by unequal climate impacts, development status, and responsibility. Moreover, including a more robust notion of capabilities in the operationalization of equity may identify additional means for supporting specific domestic climate policies able to address core development needs in the context of increased carbon constraints and climate impacts.

KW - capabilities

KW - CBDR-RC

KW - equity

KW - UNFCCC

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84969662814&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84969662814&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/17565529.2016.1146121

DO - 10.1080/17565529.2016.1146121

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 11

JO - Climate and Development

JF - Climate and Development

SN - 1756-5529

ER -