Aarthi S. Anand


By most accounts, the December 2012 Doha Round negotiations achieved little. The continued failure of member governments to reach consensus increases the risk of a catastrophic rise in global emissions. The current impasse is due in no small measure to the expressed concern of the United States that a climate change treaty will end up transferring enormous wealth from the United States to China.

Analyzing the relevant market data, this Article concludes that there is little or no evidence to support the notion that ratification of the Kyoto Protocol will lead to the massive wealth transfers feared by the United States. Indeed, the market study demonstrates the opposite. By deconstructing the “China myth,” this Article achieves two tasks. First, it rebuts the principal argument that U.S. policy-makers and the Senate have offered to justify the United States’ refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Second, in taking China out of the equation, it enables U.S. climate justice theory to resume the arrested conversation about the obligations of the United States, and other developed nations, to address the problem of global emissions.

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