Approach from the perspective of who has contributed most to the problem

 

A third approach looks at the problem from the perspective of who has contributed most to the problem. Because the industrialized countries have contributed more than two-thirds of the stock of human-induced GHGs in the atmosphere, this approach suggests that they should bear the largest share of the costs. This stock of emissions has been described as an "environmental debt" (Munasinghe et al., 1996). In terms of efficiency, this view is not supported. This is because efficiency requires incentives to be forward-looking, and not retrospective (Goldemberg et al., 1996). The question of historical responsibility is a matter of ethics. Munasinghe et al. (1996) suggested that developed countries could address the issue by making side-payments to developing countries.
Munasinghe, M. et al. 1996. "Applicability of Techniques of Cost-Benefit Analysis to Climate Change.". In J.P. Bruce et al. (PDF). Climate Change 1995: Economic and Social Dimensions of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This version: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., and New York, N.Y., U.S.A.. Web version: IPCC website. doi:10.2277/0521568544. ISBN 978-0-521-56854-8.
Goldemberg, J. et al. 1996. "Introduction: scope of the assessment.". In J.P. Bruce et al. (PDF). Climate Change 1995: Economic and Social Dimensions of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This version: Printed by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., and New York, N.Y., U.S.A.. Web version: IPCC website. doi:10.2277/0521568544. ISBN 978-0-521-56854-8.