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Earth System GovernanceWorld Politics in the Anthropocene$
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Frank Biermann

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028226

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028226.001.0001

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(p.145) 6 Allocation
Earth System Governance

Frank Biermann

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on another key element of effective and legitimate earth system governance: the question of allocation, or differently put, of justice, fairness, and equity. It considers three ways of distributing costs and benefits of earth system governance: direct allocation through multilateral agreements, such as through international funds; allocation through markets established under international agreements, such as emissions trading; and allocation through environmentally motivated restrictions of international trade and investment. These three specific modes of resource allocation are discussed from the libertarian and egalitarian perspectives of justice. The chapter concludes by outlining three policy-related questions: the primacy of multilateralism over unilateral approaches in decisions on the (international) allocation of costs of actions; the strong appeal of the principle of equal rights for every person; and the most effective organizational setting for financial transfers and support mechanisms in earth system governance, with particular emphasis on the need to create a World Environment Fund that would ensure a fair allocation of the costs of earth system governance.

Keywords:   earth system governance, justice, fairness, equity, international agreements, international trade, resource allocation, multilateralism, equal rights, World Environment Fund

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