Global climate change raises many questions for environmental political theorists. This article focuses on the question of identifying the agents that should bear the financial burden of preventing dangerous climate change. Identifying in a fair way the agents that should take the lead in climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as the precise burdens that these parties must bear, will be a key aspect of the next generation of global climate policies. After a critical review of a number of rival approaches to burden sharing, the paper argues that only a principled and philosophically robust reconciliation of three approaches to burden sharing (‘contribution to problem’, ‘ability to pay’ and ‘beneficiary pays’) can generate a satisfactory mix of theoretical coherence and practical application
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