IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change Equity

Equity is an ethical construct that demands the articulation and implementation of choices with respect to the distribution of rights to benefits and the responsibilities for bearing the costs resulting from particular circumstances – for example, climate change – within and among communities, including future generations. Climate change is subject to a very asymmetric distribution of present emissions and future impacts and vulnerabilities. Equity can be elaborated in terms of distributing the costs of mitigation or adaptation, distributing future emission rights and ensuring institutional and procedural fairness (Chapter 13, Section Equity also exhibits preventative (avoidance of damage inflicted on others), retributive (sanctions), and corrective elements (e.g. ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’) (Chapter 2, Section 2.6), each of which has an important place in the international response to the climate change problem (Chapter 13).