Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

International Paretianism: A Defense

  • Eric A. Posner
  • David Weisbach
| July 2012


A treaty satisfies what we call International Paretianism if it advances the interests of all states that join it, so that no state is made worse off. The principle might seem obvious, but it rules out nearly all the major proposals for a climate treaty, including proposals advanced by academics and by government officials. We defend International Paretianism, and for that reason urge commentators in the debate over climate justice to abandon efforts to right past wrongs, redistribute wealth, and achieve other abstract ideals through a climate treaty.

For more information on this publication: Please contact Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
For Academic Citation: Posner, Eric A. and David Weisbach. “International Paretianism: A Defense.” Discussion Paper, 2012-52, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center, July 2012.

The Authors