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International Paretianism: a palatable response to climate change?

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International Paretianism (IP) is billed as the positive and feasible response to international problems such as climate change (see, especially, Posner and Weisbach 2010). In the tradition of public goods economics, climate change is depicted as a collective-action problem for nation states, where the current ‘business-as-usual’ arrangement is Pareto inferior to some alternative involving climate-change mitigation. According to IP, a global climate deal should be framed to achieve such a Pareto improvement (making no state worse off). Critics argue, however, that such a deal would not be adequately just, and moreover, to the extent that it supports substantial mitigation, IP involves inconsistent claims about feasibility. This paper contributes to the debate by initially clarifying what would be achieved by an IP response to climate change, under various assumptions about the game theoretic structure of the problem and two possible stances on feasibility. The further consideration is whether an IP deal plausibly has some merit, however minimal, in terms of advancing justice.

This talk is part of the CamPoS (Cambridge Philosophy of Science) seminar series.

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