A thorough examination of the climate justice theory worldwide indicates that there are two obvious turns. The early climate justice theory, based on utilitarianism and intergenerational justice, emphasizes how to get the most benefit in the issue of greenhouse gas emissions. However, with the in-depth understanding of climate problems, the climate justice theory changed for the first time. It focused on how to distribute the greenhouse gas emission rights among contemporary countries. The demand for equality of individual right and development was the hot topic of this period. With the in-depth research and discussion, it was found that the key problem of climate justice which was difficult to solve was the huge gap between rich countries and poor countries with regard to development, which resulted in the discussion of climate justice focusing on the relationship between feasibility of climate justice and the development gap between rich and poor countries. The principal contradiction of the current climate justice issue is the contradiction between the growing threat of climate change to the future survival of mankind and the social and economic development of contemporary poor countries. Developed countries must take the primary responsibility for climate justice and fulfill the obligation to help poor countries to achieve further social and economic development through financial support and achievement of new energy technologies.
Journal of Shanghai Jiaotong University（Social Science）
greenhouse gas emission rights
per capita distribution principle
gap between the rich and poor