Daniel Burkett
University of New South Wales
There is growing acknowledgement of a moral obligation to curb our personal carbon emissions. However, while much has been said regarding certain kinds of carbon- ntensive behaviours, the philosophical literature has – until only very recently – been largely silent regarding one of the worst things that a person can choose to do from a climate perspective: namely, have a child. I contend that procreation is an inessential high-emission activity – one that results in inordinately greater emissions than other activities like joyguzzling or flying. Given this, I argue that if we believe that individuals bear moral responsibility for their personal carbon emissions, then we have strong moral reasons to refrain from choosing to procreate, reasons which – for many – amount to a moral obligation to refrain from choosing to have children. I also consider whether our climate duties might also be discharged by offsetting the climate burden of any children we do choose to have and providing a concrete quantification of what that offsetting might look like.
Keywords Climate Change  Carbon Emissions  Procreation  Children
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DOI 10.1111/japp.12515
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