Daniel A. Farber
Emissions; climate change; accountability; regulation of GHGs;compensation.
The United States, the wealthiest country intheworld, contributes far more than its share of greenhouse gases. It is now clear that these emissions have caused serious risks to theworld as a whole, particularly the poorest nations. This raises two questions. First, does the United States have a moral duty to impose reasonable curbs on its future emissions? Second, does the United States have a moral duty to make amends for its past excesses—for example, by providing financial assistance to poorer nations that are now faced with the need to adapt to climatechange? The Article explores the issues concerning American responsibility for climate change. It is argued that the United States has a moral obligation to be accountable for its contribution to the climate change problem. It is also explained how a practical mechanism for providing climate change compensation could be established. The aim is, in part, to respond to Posner and Sunstein (available on the GNHRE), but equally importantly, to fill in an important gap relating to discussions of climate compensation. Farber’s prior work has focused on the design of a compensation scheme while taking the justice of compensation more or less for granted, but that is a fundamental question that obviously must be faced.
(2008) 2 Utah Law Review.