Climate Justice: Can we agree to disagree? Operationalising competing equity principles to mitigate global warming

Friday, 28 July 2017 - 10:00am to 11:00am

With the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 °C and pursue efforts to 1.5 °C.

Equitable distribution across countries of emissions rights consistent with these goals is contentious and involves divergent views of distributive justice. With the absence of consensus on an effort-sharing approach, current negotiations under the UNFCCC follow an uncoordinated, or ‘bottom-up’, approach where each country tends to support its favoured approach. The sum of all parties’ announced contributions is not consistent with the Paris Agreement goals. 


This thesis offers a normative method to quantify national emissions trajectories consistent with the temperature goals under each IPCC equity category or a combination of approaches in a ‘bottom-up’ regime. The resulting emissions allocation provides a new scale, is inclusive of all international positions, to assess the ambition of the Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement. 

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Event Location: 
Level 1
187 Grattan Street
Parkville, VIC 3010
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Australian German Climate and Energy College

Yann grew up in France and obtainted his Master's in climate, ocean and atmosphere science at the Pierre and Marie Curie University, as well as a Magister in theoretical physics from the University of Paris-Sud. He has various research experience in oceanography (Equatorial Atlantic, Arctic and Antarctica), hydrology, cosmology and sea ice rheology at the universities of Pierre and Marie Curie, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford, Copenhagen and McGill. After a year of field research in Benin and a sailing journey across the Arctic North-West Passage, Yann enrolled in the College in order to model national greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions scenarios following a combination of different vision of climate justice. The research project is a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany. 

PhD Project: Avoiding dangerous climate change when nations have different concepts of climate justice

The international community has agreed to limit global warming to 2°C and pursue 1.5°C. Staying within this boundary implies undertaking strong mitigation commitments. At climate conferences, countries exposed different equity concepts to drive the sharing of the required mitigation. The sum of each country's self-determined fair share of the global mitigation burden is insufficient to keep warming below 2°C, let alone 1.5°C. This PhD project will assess how to distribute the GHG emissions consistent with the temperature goals under a combination of the effort sharing approaches. A normative method will determine coherent national mitigation targets under a combination of equity approaches. This quantitative hybrid approach adopts the distributive nature of bottom-up approach with the stringency of a top-down approach