1. In discussions of climate change ''mitigation'' refers to policies or actions directed toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions; ''adaptation'' refers to how plants, animals, and humans respond to climate change (excluding, of course, their mitigation responses). The meaning of these terms is further elaborated later.

2. For an account of the formation of the IPCC, see Agrawala (1998).

3. Emissions trading is a scheme in which an entity (such as a nation) whose emissions of some substance are limited by a binding agreement can purchase the right to emit more of the substance in question from an entity that will limit its emissions by the same amount in exchange for the payment (emissions trading is discussed in detail below). Carbon sinks are biological or geological reservoirs (such as forests) in which carbon is sequestered; the idea being that nations can ''offset'' their emissions by sequestering carbon that would otherwise be in the atmosphere.

4. Annex 1 countries are the industrialized countries of North America and Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand (a full list can be found on the web at; together they were responsible for more than two-thirds of global GHG emissions in 1990.

5. Babiker, Jacoby, Reilly, and Reiner (2002).

6. For a list of OPEC member states see

7. Smit, Burton, Klein, and Wandel (2000, p. 225). It should be noted that the term ''adaptation'' is typically used positively in opposition to the negative term, ''maladaptation.''

8. See, for example, Abramovitz et al. (2002), Smithers and Smit (1997), Kates (2001), Kelly and Adger (2000), Reilly and Schimmelpfennig (2000), and Smit, Burton, Klein, and Wandel (2000).

9. Still, it is worth observing that adaptations can stand in feedback relations to the climate change to which they are a response. For example, one possible adaptation to a warmer world is more extensive use of air conditioning, which itself contributes to greater warming. Thus, we must be careful that in trying to live with climate change, we do not make it worse. I owe this point to Steve Gardiner.

10. For example, see Jamieson (1990, 1991).

11. For example, Rayner and Malone (1997), Pielke, Jr. (1998), Parry, Arnell, Hulme, Nicholls, and Livermore (1998), and Pielke, Jr. and Sarewitz (2000).

12. Because he has a definition of the term different from the one employed in the FCCC, Pielke, Jr. (2005) claims that adaptation is a neglected option, despite the occurrence of the word in the treaty and in many subsequent official documents. This way of putting the point seems to transform an important substantive critique into what appears to be a linguistic dispute. The core of Pielke's, Jr. challenge is that focusing on adaptation to climate variability and extreme events, whatever their causes, would be much more effective than focusing on climate change, with the emphasis on scientific knowledge and mitigation strategies that this approach brings along, and the attendant policy gridlock that follows. While I am sympathetic to this view, it raises important questions about how to determine relevant alternatives when faced with policy questions. Why not, for example, abandon questions of weather and climate altogether and focus instead on global poverty? I have more to say about this in my response to Schelling below.

13. (accessed August 8th, 2003).

14. /globalwarming/publications/car/ch6.pdf (accessed June 22nd, 2002).

15. The idea that climate change poses a dichotomous choice between adaptation and mitigation may stem from Matthews (1987), who drew a sharp distinction between those she called "adaptationists" and "preventionists;" but already by 1991 Crosson and Rosenberg (1991) were treating this as a mistaken dichotomy that had been bypassed by the policy discussion.

16. National Academy of Sciences (2002, p. 27).

17. Hakkinen and Rhines (2004).

18. Thompson and Wallace (2001).

19. Available at Foverview (accessed December 17, 2004).

20. The following discussion is based on Glantz and Jamieson (2000).

21. Summary report of proceedings: Inter-American Development Bank Consultative Group meeting for the reconstruction and transformation of Central America (May 1999), Stockholm, Sweden ( consultative_group/summary.htm, accessed November 7, 2000).

22. Honduras This Week (May 29, 2000) ( environment/70.htm, accessed April 23, 2003).

23. Summary report of proceedings: Inter-American Development Bank Consultative Group meeting for the reconstruction and transformation of Central America (May 1999), Stockholm, Sweden ( consultative_group/summary.htm, accessed November 7, 2000).

24. Honduras This Week (May 29, 2000) ( environment/70.htm, accessed April 23, 2003).

27. See African Development Bank et al. (2003) and the sources cited therein for documentation of the claims made in this paragraph.

29. Available on the web at documents/summit_docs/1009wssd_pol_declaration.doc (accessed August 12, 2003).

30. One problem is that these funds are intended to finance adaptation to climate change, not adaptation to natural climate variability. This requires a successful applicant to identify the incremental risk posed by climate change and show that the benefit that the proposed project would provide would address only this increment.

This burden is not only almost impossible to discharge in many cases, but it is an absurd requirement for reasons explained below.

32. Ayres and Walters (1991), as cited in Spash (2002, p. 164).

35. (accessed August 12, 2003).

36. See also Jamieson (2005a).

37. For reasons discussed in the next section and suggested in note 30, it is also easier to specify and quantify duties related to mitigation than those related to adaptation. Carbon dioxide emissions are directly measurable; success in adapting to climate change is not.

38. However, we should bear in mind that, though they are importantly related, reducing emissions is not exactly the same as slowing down the rate of climate change (Pielke, Jr., Klein, & Sarewitz, 2000).

39. For more on justice in adaptation see Adger, Huq, Mace, and Paavola (2005).

40. Jamieson (2001).

41. For example, Athanasiou and Baer (2002), Brown (2002), Cazorla and Toman

(2001), Clausen and McNeilly (1998), Grubb (1995), Meyer (2000), Sachs et al.

(2002), Shue (1995), Singer (2002), and the papers collected in Toth (1999). Of course, these ideas also have their detractors. For a critique of emissions trading see various papers by Larry Lohmann at For an excellent survey of the issues see Gardiner (2004).

42. For a thorough defense of emissions trading in a GHG control regime see Stewart and Wiener (2003); for a contrary view, see Schelling (2002).

43. For a defense of this view see Agarwal and Narain (1991).

44. The following nine paragraphs are revised from Jamieson (2001).

45. Principle 4 is a principle of last resort because my list includes all the principles that I can think of that are attractive, and Principle 5 because it does not have the theoretical economy of the other principles on the list.

46. While this principle is one that is often associated with the American position and there are different ways of understanding the data, it is clear that the United States is an inefficient producer of GDP relative to most European countries and Japan. Thus, this principle might imply that some American emission permissions should be transferred to France (for example).

47. For a defense of 2050 as the index year, see Singer (2002); generally, for a discussion, see Gardiner (2004).

48. For example, Gardiner (2004) and Shue (1992).

49. See Stewart and Wiener (2003) for further discussion of these issues.

51. For an argument that some transnational corporations are more powerful than many states, and hence de facto more sovereign, see Korten (1995) and Hutton (2002).

52. For the first view see Singer (2002); for the second see Boot (2002).

54. For more on these points see O'Neill (1994).

55. Pogge (1994) vigorously argues this point; I have learned much from his critical discussion of Rawls.

56. For further objections along these lines see Beitz (2000), Buchanan (2000), and Kuper (2000).

57. There are more expansive ways of characterizing cosmopolitanism (e.g., Jones, 1999, p. 15), and less expansive ways (e.g., dropping the requirement that individual people are the primary agents); this will do for the present purposes.

58. Here I have benefited from discussions with Leif Wenar, and from reading Wenar (2002).

59. For further discussion, see Crisp and Jamieson (2000).

60. Related views have been put forward by Kuper (2000) and Sen (2002). In Jamieson (2005b) I have discussed this view in some detail from a utilitarian perspective.

61. Dobson (1998) chides me for largely ignoring this view in Jamieson (1994). I have been helped by his discussion.

62. Cf. Anatole France who derided the claim that laws against sleeping under bridges apply equally to the rich and poor.

63. I have selected Sierra Leone for my example since it ranks dead last in the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Index (UNDP, 2000).

64. While philosophers often draw technical distinctions between duties and obligations, for the present purposes I use these terms interchangeably.

65. Of course a Hobbesian or Communitarian could consistently hold that there are extensive and rigorous transnational duties but that they are not duties of justice. This sort of Hobbesian or Communitarian could agree with much that I say.

66. See Sachs (1993, p. 5) on the idea of the global middle class.

67. A clarification (at the behest of Walter Sinnott-Armstrong): my claim is that (everything else being equal) X's contributing significantly to causing a problem that harms a generally identifiable moral patient is a sufficient (not a necessary) condition for supposing that X has a duty with respect to the contribution.

69. Indeed, it may be obligatory to carry some of them out. There are a number of ways of defending such a claim in detail; one such way is by recourse to a moral theory that I call ''progressive consequentialism'' in unpublished work.

70. Because climate change involves actions in which some identifiable people and corporations are involved in inflicting harms on other people, there is beginning to be interest in viewing these actions as candidates for legal remedies. There has been discussion of such litigation in the pages of The New York Times, The Economist, and the Financial Times, as well as in the offices of various reinsurance companies and multinational corporations (or so it is said). However, the most severe consequences of climate change will be suffered by those in the further future, and there are serious philosophical problems about how duties to such beneficiaries should be understood. See Parfit (1984) and Howarth's essay in this volume.

71. Indeed, I believe that there is generally a movement toward environmental justice becoming the key organizing concept of environmentalism (see Jamieson, 2005c).

72. See Jamieson (2005b) and Gardiner (2003).

73. Cf. the following remark from Melissa Carey of Environmental Defense: ''The Earth is round, Elvis is dead, and yes, climate change is happening.''

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