Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (4):320-342 (2014)

Simon Caney
University of Warwick
Climate change is projected to have very severe impacts on future generations. Given this, any adequate response to it has to consider the nature of our obligations to future generations. This paper seeks to do that and to relate this to the way that inter-generational justice is often framed by economic analyses of climate change. To do this the paper considers three kinds of considerations that, it has been argued, should guide the kinds of actions that one generation should take if it is to treat both current and future people equitably. In particular it examines the case for what has been termed pure time discounting, growth discounting and opportunity cost discounting; and it assesses their implications for climate policy. It argues that none of these support the claims of those who think they give us reason to delay aggressive mitigation policies. It also finds, however, that the second kind of argument can, in certain circumstances, provide support for passing on some of the costs of mitigation to future generations
Keywords inter-generational justice, future generations, climate change, social discount rate
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/1470594X14542566
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: 72,607
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.
A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
The Idea of Justice.Amartya Kumar Sen - 2009 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Pure Time Preference in Intertemporal Welfare Economics.J. Paul Kelleher - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (3):441-473.
Moral Demands and the Far Future.Andreas L. Mogensen - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):567-585.
Values in Time Discounting.Conrad Heilmann - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (5):1333-1349.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Discounting the Future, yet Again.Geoffrey Brennan - 2007 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):259-284.
Climate Change and the Future: Discounting for Time, Wealth, and Risk.Simon Caney - 2009 - Journal of Social Philosophy 40 (2):163-186.
Time Preference, the Environment and the Interests of Future Generations.E. Wesley & F. Peterson - 1993 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 6 (2):107-126.
Climate Change: A Challenge for Ethics.Evangelos D. Protopapadakis - 2012 - In Walter Leal Filho Evangelos Manolas (ed.), English through Climate Change. Democritus University of Thrace. pp. 167.
Justice and Climate Change: Toward a Libertarian Analysis.Dan C. Shahar - 2009 - The Independent Review 14 (2):219-237.
The Theory of Justice in a Warming Climate.Jan Kunnas - 2012 - Electronic Green Journal 34 (1).


Added to PP index

Total views
170 ( #71,039 of 2,533,631 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #68,788 of 2,533,631 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes