Dead Heat

Global Justice and Global Warming

Posted: 25 June 2003

Author: Tom Athanasiou and Paul Baer
Seven Stories Press, 2002, £6.99

Dead Heat is essentially a continuation of Aubrey Meyer's 'Contraction and Convergence' solution to climate change - but with a down-to-earth approach which seeks to present climate justice as both good politics and good sense.


As Athanasiou and Baer point out, global climate change negotiations are now in deadlock, with Southern countries refusing to countenance cuts to greenhouse gas emissions on the understandable grounds that their per-person emissions are still far below those of the rich, industrialised North.

The longer this deadlock continues, the authors assert, the closer we get to catastrophe: in just a few years Southern emissons alone will break through what they term the "safe-landing corridor" and precipitate potentially unstoppable climate change.

The solution is an equitable distribution of allocation rights, not because equity is 'nice', but because nothing else will break the deadlock. A valuable and convincing read.

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Mark Lynas is a specialist in Climate Change. His new book, High Tide: News from a warming world, will be published by Flamingo/HarperCollins in March 2004.