This paper examines what would be a fair distribution of the right to emit greenhouse gases. It distinguishes between views that treat the distribution of this right on its own (Isolationist Views) and those that treat it in conjunction with the distribution of other goods (Integrationist Views). The most widely held view treats adopts an Isolationist approach and holds that emission rights should be distributed equally. This paper provides a critique of this 'equal per capita' view, and the isolationist assumptions (...) on which it depends. It examines four arguments for this view, finding each wanting. It then presents two general challenges to the 'equal per capita' view, and, indeed, any views which treat the distribution of greenhouse gas emissions in isolation from other goods. It concludes by outlining and defending an alternative (Integrationist) approach to the distribution of rights to emit greenhouse gases. (shrink)
This paper defends an egalitarian conception of global justice against two kinds of criticism. Many who defend egalitarian principles of justice do so on the basis that all humans are part of a common 'association' of some kind. In this paper I defend the humanity-centred approach which holds that persons should be included within the scope of distributive justice simply because they are fellow human beings. The paper has four substantive sections - the first addresses Andrea Sangiovanni's reciprocity-based argument for (...) the claim that egalitarian principles apply only within the state. The second responds to Michael Blake's coercion-based argument for the thesis that egalitarian principles apply only within the state. A third section draws attention to a general problem with associational accounts of distributive justice. Finally, I seek to show how a humanity-centred cosmopolitanism can accommodate the insights associated with an associational approach. (shrink)
In a recent paper in this journal I argued that the distribution of the burdens involved in combating climate change should be determined by a combination of a particular version of the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP) and a particular version of the Ability to Pay Principle. Carl Knight has presented three objections to my analysis. In what follows, I argue that he largely misinterprets my arguments.
Cap-and-trade systems for greenhouse gas emissions are an important part of the climate change policies of the EU, Japan, New Zealand, among others, as well as China (soon). However, concerns have been raised on a variety of ethical grounds about the use of markets to reduce emissions. In this paper we examine three types of concern. The first holds that emissions trading schemes are 'unethical'. We examine five ethical objections. These objections hold that emissions trading is unethical because it: involves (...) owning what should not be owned (objection 1), involves alienating responsibilities that should not be alienated (objection 2), necessarily worsens the condition of the vulnerable (objection 3), puts a price on the natural world (objection 4), and converts what ought to be a 'fine' into a 'fee' (objection 5). We find all five ethical objections unpersuasive. We then turn to consider a second kind of objection - namely that emissions trading schemes involve an unjust distribution of burdens and benefits. Finally, we consider the arguments adduced by those who question the effectiveness of emissions trading in reducing emissions. We conclude that only the objections based on distributional justice can be sustained. This points to reform of the carbon market system, rather than its elimination. (shrink)
Climate change poses grave threats to many people, including the most vulnerable. This prompts the question of who should bear the burden of combating ?dangerous? climate change. Many appeal to the Polluter Pays Principle. I argue that it should play an important role in any adequate analysis of the responsibility to combat climate change, but suggest that it suffers from three limitations and that it needs to be revised. I then consider the Ability to Pay Principle and consider four objections (...) to this principle. I suggest that, when suitably modified, it can supplement the Polluter Pays Principle. (shrink)
This collection gathers a set of seminal papers from the emerging area of ethics and climate change. Topics covered include human rights, international justice, intergenerational ethics, individual responsibility, climate economics, and the ethics of geoengineering. Climate Ethics is intended to serve as a source book for general reference, and for university courses that include a focus on the human dimensions of climate change. It should be of broad interest to all those concerned with global justice, environmental science and policy, and (...) the future of humanity. (shrink)
This paper examines explore the issues of intergenerational equity raised by climate change. A number of different reasons have been suggested as to why current generations may legitimately favor devoting resources to contemporaries rather than to future generations. These - either individually or jointly - challenge the case for combating climate change. In this paper, I distinguish between three different kinds of reason for favoring contemporaries. I argue that none of these arguments is persuasive. My answer in each case appeals (...) to the concept of human rights. It maintains that a human rights-centered perspective to climate change enables us to address each of these reasons. (shrink)
The prospect of dangerous climate change requires Humanity to limit the emission of greenhouse gases. This in turn raises the question of how the permission to emit greenhouse gases should be distributed and among whom. In this article the author criticises three principles of distributive justice that have often been advanced in this context. He also argues that the predominantly statist way in which the question is framed occludes some morally relevant considerations. The latter part of the article turns from (...) critique and advances a new way of addressing the problem. In particular, first, it proposes four key theses that should guide our normative analysis; and, second, it outlines how these four theses can be realised in practice. (shrink)
What kind of political systems should there be? In this paper I examine two competing principles of institutional design — an instrumental view, which maintains that one should design institutions so as to realize the most plausible conception of justice, and a democratic view, which maintains that one should design institutions so as to enable persons to participate in the decisions that impact their lives. I argue for a mixed view that combines these two principles. In the second stage of (...) the argument, I draw on this principle of institutional design to argue for the need for suprastate institutions. These are required to protect persons’ core basic rights and, over and above that, they are needed to provide fair and legitimate procedures for choosing which rules should govern the global economy and environment. The third stage of the argument develops this account by elaborating on what features global institutions must possess for them to perform these two distinct kinds of roles. (shrink)
Which political principles should govern global politics? In his new book, Simon Caney engages with the work of philosophers, political theorists, and international relations scholars in order to examine some of the most pressing global issues of our time. Are there universal civil, political, and economic human rights? Should there be a system of supra-state institutions? Can humanitarian intervention be justified?
(1998). Liberal legitimacy, reasonable disagreement and justice. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy: Vol. 1, Pluralsim and Liberal Neutrality, pp. 19-36. doi: 10.1080/13698239808403246.