To avoid exceeding the dangerous threshold of 2 degrees centigrade global warming, mitigation actions by developed countries will not be sufficient. The countries of the global South need to contribute substantial mitigation actions as well. This paper explores the effort sharing system of the Greenhouse Development Rights framework. According to this framework, all countries have to actively mitigate greenhouse gases. Yet rich and emissions-intensive countries will be allocated an over-proportionate share of the global effort, so that the countries of the South retain space for prioritising sustainable development. In contrast to the official goal of 40 percent reductions until 2020, Germany would need to reduce its emissions by 84 percent. Domestic action will not suffice to achieve this ambitious goal. If the German government endeavors to reduce national emissions by 40 percent, it would have to realise about another 40 percent emissions reductions abroad. For this, Germany has to cooperate intensively with developing countries. There is now the opportunity for the German government to take its current leadership role in climate policy to a new dimension and to offer extensive financial means, as well as to initiate a comprehensive North-South technology cooperation alliance. "40 plus 40 until 2020" would be the goal for an equitable German leadership position.
Deutschlands Vorreiterrolle auf dem Prüfstand
Wie schützen wir die Menschenrechte im Treibhaus?
Wuppertal Paper no. 175 (November 2008)