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ANU: Designing Just Institutions for Global Climate Governance
Stemming Climate Change
and Eradicating Poverty:
Competing Imperatives?
Thomas Pogge
pantheon.yale.edu/~tp4
Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs, Yale University
and ANU Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE)
1
The Human
Magnitude of
World Poverty
1
Deprivations of Poverty
Among ca. 7 billion human beings, about
925 million are chronically undernourished (FAO 2010),
2000 million lack access to essential drugs
(www.fic.nih.gov/about/plan/exec_summary.htm),
884 million lack safe drinking water (WHO/UNICEF 2008, 32),
924 million lack adequate shelter (UN Habitat 2003, p. vi),
1600 million have no electricity (UN Habitat, “Urban Energy”),
2500 million lack adequate sanitation (WHO/UNICEF 2008, p. 7),
796 million adults are illiterate (www.uis.unesco.org),
218 million children (aged 5 to 17) do wage work outside their
household — often under slavery-like and hazardous conditions:
as soldiers, prostitutes or domestic servants, or in agriculture,
construction, textile or carpet production (ILO: The End of Child
Labour, Within Reach, 2006, pp. 9, 11, 17-18).
2
Millions of Deaths
3
2
The “True Cost”
of Fighting
Poverty
4
Causality -Pov  +Pop
• Reductions in poverty increase human
population as those who escape extreme
poverty will enjoy longer lives. The effect
is large, as about half of current annual
poverty deaths (9 out of 18 million) are
children under 5. If we enable these
children to survive, most of them will
reproduce (and thereby aggravate
ecological burdens).
5
Causality +Pop  -Ecol
• Climate change and ecological burdens
more generally (including depletion of
non-renewable natural resources) are
correlated with population. There is no
reason to think that ecological footprint
per person declines meaningfully with
the number of persons. Therefore, more
people means more rapid exhaustion of
our planetary resources.
Conclusion: -Pov  -Ecol
6
3
Some Benefits
of Fighting
Poverty
7
Causality -Pov  +Ecol
• Dire need often compels very poor
people to act in environmentally
destructive ways for short-term benefit.
• Pro-poor policies and institutional
arrangements entail ecological benefits
insofar as economists are right to claim
that they “sacrifice” aggregate growth.
8
Causality -Pov  -Pop
As Amartya Sen was the first to point out
(NYRB 1994), there is a very high correlation
between poverty and total fertility rates. Since
1955, the TFR has changed in East Asia from
5.42 to 1.72, in Portugal from 3.04 to 1.38,
in Australia from 3.18 to 1.83 – versus
from 5.50 to 5.36 in Equatorial Guinea, from
6.23 to 5.49 in Mali, from 6.86 to 7.15 in
Niger, and from 5.52 to 5.22 in Sierra Leone.
http://esa.un.org/unpp/index.asp?panel=2.
9
Colombia
Botswana
Eq.Guinea
Niger
Singapore
1950-1955
6.76
6.50
5.50
6.86
6.40
1955-1960
6.76
6.58
5.50
7.05
5.99
1960-1965
6.76
6.65
5.53
7.29
4.93
1965-1970
6.18
6.70
5.66
7.53
3.46
1970-1975
5.00
6.55
5.68
7.74
2.62
1975-1980
4.34
6.37
5.68
8.00
1.87
1980-1985
3.68
5.97
5.79
8.05
1.69
1985-1990
3.24
5.11
5.89
7.94
1.71
1990-1995
3.00
4.32
5.89
7.79
1.76
1995-2000
2.75
3.70
5.87
7.61
1.57
2000-2005
2.55
3.18
5.64
7.38
1.36
2005-2010
2.45
2.90
5.36
7.15
1.27
10
-Pov  -Pop continued
Currently, the total fertility rate is 4.39 for the
50 least developed countries versus 1.64 for the
more developed regions, and 2.46 for the
remaining middle-income countries
http://esa.un.org/unpp/index.asp?panel=2
Already 95 of the richer countries have reached
TFRs below 2.00, half of countries below 2.20.
https://www.CIA.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/rankorder/2127rank.html
Despite vastly higher mortality, the poor have rapid
population growth, the better-off little or none.
11
Rank
country
1
Niger
2
Uganda
3
Mali
4
Somalia
5
Burundi
6
Burkina Faso
7
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
8
Ethiopia
9
Zambia
10
Angola
11
Congo, Republic of the
12
Malawi
13
Afghanistan
14
Benin
15
Mayotte
(children born/woman)
Date of Information
7.68
6.73
6.54
6.44
6.25
6.21
6.11
6.07
6.07
6.05
5.77
5.51
5.50
5.40
5.40
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
12
Rank
country
151
Kazakhstan
152
Aruba
153
Wallis and Futuna
154
Maldives
155
Saint Lucia
156
Virgin Islands
157
Mauritius
158
Saint Kitts and Nevis
159
Australia
160
Luxembourg
161
Lebanon
162
Norway
163
Algeria
164
Anguilla
165
Denmark
(children born/woman)
Date of Information
1.87
1.85
1.84
1.83
1.82
1.81
1.80
1.79
1.78
1.78
1.78
1.77
1.76
1.75
1.74
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
13
Rank
country
(children born/woman)
Date of Information
2010 est.
2010 est.
211
Slovenia
212
Moldova
213
Romania
214
Ukraine
215
Bosnia and Herzegovina
216
Belarus
217
Czech Republic
218
Montserrat
219
Lithuania
220
Korea, South
221
Japan
222
Taiwan
223
Singapore
224
Hong Kong
1.29
1.28
1.27
1.27
1.26
1.25
1.25
1.25
1.24
1.22
1.20
1.15
1.10
1.04
225
Macau
0.91
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
2010 est.
14
4
Common Driver
of Poverty and
Ecological Harm
15
Supranational Institutional Arrangements
are becoming increasingly influential (an
aspect of globalization), and
are shaped in intergovernmental negotiations
- that lack transparency and accountability,
- while denying consideration to the input and
interests of the vast majority of humanity
- and while affording enormous influence to
those corporations, industry associations,
banks and other powerful agents who can
lobby the principal governments.
16
Systemic Problem: Regulatory
Capture with Inequality Spiral
Often in concert, the richest players influence the rules
and their application, thereby expanding their own
advantage. Such run-away inequality strengthens, in
each round, both the incentives and the opportunities
for influence. Public facilities come under the influence
of players with special and often near-term interests —
who buy support from media and academics for this
purpose (venality esp. of economists who live up to
their homo oeconomicus paradigm).
Special interests have been effective in influencing
especially international agreements (WTO Treaty)
and organizations (WIPO, IMF, World Bank).
17
Segment of
World
Population
Richest
Ventile
Next Four
Ventiles
Second
Quarter
Third
Quarter
Poorest
Quarter
Share of
Share of
Global
Global
Household Household
Income
Income
1988
2005
Absolute
Relative
Change in
Change in
Income
Income Share
Share
42.87
46.36 +3.49 +8.1%
46.63
43.98
-2.65
-5.7%
6.97
6.74
-0.23
-3.3%
2.37
2.14
-0.23
-9.8%
1.15
0.77
-0.38 -32.9%
Data courtesy of Branko Milanovic 18
5
Gathering Diverse
Interests for
Reform
19
Structural Reforms
Those with an interest safeguarding our
environment, in moderating inequality
and/or in reducing poverty should develop
global institutional reform ideas
that also appeal to the generic interest in
stability (in controlling regulatory capture)
and to specific interests in private gain.
20
An Example of Reform
If inventors of green technologies are rewarded
through patent-protected mark-ups, their
inventions are bound to be underutilized.
Instead: offer to reward such inventors for a
similar time period (15 years?) with payments
proportional to the ecological harm their
invention averts – on condition that they
license and/or sell their invention at no more
than, respectively, zero cost or the lowest
21
feasible marginal cost of production.
22
Two Different Adaptations
Extension to pharmaceutical innovation: pay
pharmaceutical innovators for ten years based on
the global health impact of their new medicine
(www.healthimpactfund.org).
Extension to agricultural innovation: pay
innovators on the basis of incremental nutrients
produced through use of their invention on the
fields where it is deployed.
23
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