Achieving Traction for Ethical Principles in Climate Change Negotiation Outcomes after Durban

Ethics, Policy and Environment 15 (3):314 - 320 (2012)
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Abstract

Preliminary elements of a practical strategy are described to achieve greater traction for ethical principles to guide international efforts to achieve a just global climate change solution. This paper begins with an ethical review of the major elements of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties 17 outcomes in Durban, South Africa that will be further considered at Conference of Parties 18 in Qatar, December 2012. This analysis then draws conclusions about how to generate greater consideration of the ethical issues that need to be faced if international climate change negotiations have any hope of creating a just global solution to climate change. It will then be argued that the key to obtaining greater traction of ethical principles in climate policy formation is to create greater global awareness of the unjust or ethically unsupportable positions of participants in climate change negotiations, rather than focusing on abstract arguments about what ethics and justice requires.

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