Climate Change and Business Ethics

Journal of Business Ethics (forthcoming)
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This article sketches ways in which business ethics should contribute to addressing the climate emergency. I consider some ways in which normative contributions to the debate on climate change and global warming have been defended, and how international thinking about environmental issues has moved from consequentialist to justice- and rights-based thinking. A recent case that came before the Hague District Court between a Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth, Milieudefensie, and Royal Dutch Shell (Milieudefensie v. Royal Dutch Shell), serves as an illustration of how human rights have taken centre stage in climate change litigation – and how business ethics has entered the courtroom. I use this case also to show where the contributions of our field lie: to think about consequences and principles, to include various stakeholders in our evaluations, and to conceptualize the responsibilities of business and politics.



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Boudewijn de Bruin
University of Groningen

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