New climate strategy: track the world’s wealthiest

Posted on July 15, 2009 

New climate strategy: track the world’s wealthiest

To fairly divide the climate change fight between rich and poor, a new study suggests basing targets for emission cuts on the number of wealthy people, who are also the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, in a country.

Since about half the planet’s climate-warming emissions come from less than a billion of its people, it makes sense to follow these rich folks when setting national targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions, the authors wrote on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

As it stands now, under the carbon-capping Kyoto Protocol, rich countries shoulder most of the burden for cutting the emissions that spur global warming, while developing countries — including fast-growing economies China and India — are not required to curb greenhouse pollution.

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