The Paris conference, compensation and climate change

Author Affiliation

Melissa Beattie is Assistant Professor at Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Was this content written or created while at IBA?


Document Type


Source Publication

Electronic Green Journal




The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 was silent about compensation for harms inflicted by carbon emissions of the past. But this silence cannot obliterate the obligations of the developed countries that caused these omissions to make reparations to affected developing countries. This article includes in its scope the grounds of these obligations and the forms that such compensation might take, and their relation to adaptation. By way of methodology, the authors employ both ethical analysis and the application of ethical findings to areas such as technology transfer and early-warning systems. They also argue that geo-engineering should not be included among the forms that compensation might adopt. The authors’ aim is to foster among countries responsible for carbon emissions an enhanced awareness of imaginative ways in which the harms they have caused can be mitigated or ameliorated. The Agreement enshrines some modest but significant steps towards climate change mitigation and towards adaptation to climate change that either has happened already or unavoidably will happen. These steps, while insufficient, are likely to prove crucial in the struggle to combat climate change. Without them humanity and the planet would have been on course for disastrous increases of greenhouse gas emissions, and equally disastrous related impacts in the form of extreme weather events of ever increasing frequency. Even as things stand, there is a high risk of the flooding of coastlines and of small islands worldwide, while famine due to droughts has returned to several regions of Africa. Such flooding is ever more likely because of rising sea-levels, while droughts are among the severe weather events that climate change has made more intense and more frequent.

Indexing Information

HJRS - X Category, Scopus

Publication Status