Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):1-19 (2014)

Although actions of individuals do contribute to climate change, the question whether or not they, too, are morally obligated to reduce the GHG emissions in their responsibility has not yet been addressed sufficiently. First, I discuss prominent objections to such a duty. I argue that whether individuals ought to reduce their emissions depends on whether or not they exceed their fair share of emission rights. In a next step I discuss several proposals for establishing fair shares and also take practical considerations into account. I conclude that individuals should not always be obliged to reduce their emissions to what is their fair share for they may depend on carbon-intensive structures. Instead, they have a Kantian imperfect duty to reduce their emissions ‘as far as can reasonably be demanded of them’. In addition, they should press governments to introduce proper regulation. At the end, I further specify both duties.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/21550085.2014.885406
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,355
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Idea of Justice.Amartya Kumar Sen - 2009 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.

View all 41 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

What’s Wrong with Joyguzzling?Ewan Kingston & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1):169-186.
Collective Harm and the Inefficacy Problem.Julia Nefsky - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (4):e12587.
Climate Change, Individual Emissions, and Foreseeing Harm.Chad Vance - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (5):562-584.

View all 37 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Climate Change and the Duties of the Disadvantaged: Reply to Caney.Carl Knight - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (4):531-542.
Climate Change.James Garvey - 2010 - The Philosophers' Magazine 50 (50):50-51.


Added to PP index

Total views
174 ( #68,456 of 2,519,516 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
21 ( #40,814 of 2,519,516 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes