Historical Responsibility

Rich countries bear a moral responsibility to cut their climate pollution. Their historic pollution is the main driver of the climate crisis. They continue to pollute and consume at high levels. Developing countries have not contributed much comparatively and historically, and have much larger populations.

All countries must be part of the solution to climate change, but developed countries bear the principal responsibility. They must repay their climate debts.

Key Demands:

Civil society groups are demanding that developed countries take on deep, domestic (no offsetting) and internationally binding emission cut targets.

Key demands include:

  • A system of legally binding international obligations on developed countries to reduce their emissions (represented by the Kyoto Protocol) must be protected.
  • The amendment of the Kyoto Protocol for developed countries’ emission reductions for the period 2012-2017 must be adopted without delay.
  • A ‘top-down’ aggregate target for developed countries based on science and equity, in the order of 50% reductions on 1990 levels by 2017 should be adopted under Kyoto.
  • The United States and other developed countries that reject the Kyoto Protocol should commit to comparable reductions.
  • Loopholes in carbon accounting rules must be closed – or targets must be strengthened by an equal amount.
  • Offsetting and market-based mechanisms should be rolled back.

More Information:

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