Tom Athanasiou

Tom Athanasiou

Tom Athanasiou co-directs the Climate Equity Reference Project, an initiative that develops tools and analysis to advance economic equity as a practical means to reaching a global climate change compact. Focusing on distributional justice and international cooperation, he is active in climate negotiations and co-coordinates the International Climate Action Network’s Equity and Effort Sharing working group. He is the author of Divided Planet: the Ecology of Rich and Poor and Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming, and co-author of Greenhouse Development Rights: The Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World.

Tellus Publications (Selected)

Climate Crossroads: Toward a Just Deal in Paris

Tom Athanasiou

Tom Athanasiou underscores the importance of a deep commitment to distributional justice on the domestic and global levels for success at the critical climate negotiations in Paris next year.

Cutting the Gordian Knot: Adequacy, Realism and Equity

Sivan Kartha, Tom Athanasiou, P. Baer, D. Cornland

Despite the almost impossible complexity of the climate deadlock, it is possible to map its most profound contours. They range, unsurprisingly, outside the traditional domains of climate politics, across lands defined by post-Cold War geopolitics, the struggle for development, the challenges of sustainability. For all this, however, they define a tangle—a Gordian Knot—in which three principle strands may be clearly discerned: adequacy, realism, and equity. To help map the way forward, this paper proposes the concept of an "equity reference framework"—a framework that allows us to ask, before we prejudge what is and isn't realistic, what would actually be fair. There will be no adequate way forward that does not involve a radical redefinition of realism.