The fight against the greenhouse effect

Global climate is a collective world asset and the fight against the greenhouse effect raises issues of equity and efficiency. The first issue : how to define an operative rule of differentiation, is required to integrate developing countries into a longterm global program. The second issue concerns the contribution, in terms of economic efficiency, of tradable emission-permit systems. The « mechanisms of flexibility » envisaged by the Kyoto Protocol introduce an economic logic that is intended to respond to the requirement for efficiency. This essay sets out to analyse these issues, which are discussed in the current negotiations, and particularly the conditions under which the trade in emission permits can protect a collective asset. –Summary AFRI-2003