Chicago Journal of International Law


A treaty satisfies what we call International Paretianism (P) if it advances the interests of all states that join it, so that no state is made worse off The principle might seem obvious, but it rules out nearly all the major proposals for a climate treaty, including proposals advanced by academics and by government officials. We defend IP, and for that reason urge commentators in the debate over climate justice to abandon efforts to right past wrongs, redistribute wealth, and achieve other abstract ideals through a climate treaty. Instead, the goal should be to develop a feasible treaty that states will join because they expect to gain from it.

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