Environmental human rights and intergenerational justice

Human Rights Review 7 (3):81-95 (2006)
What do the living owe those who come after them? It is a question nonsensical to some and unanswerable to others, yet tantalizing in its persistence especially among environmentalists. This article makes a new start on the topic of intergenerational justice by bringing together human rights and environmental justice arguments in a novel way that lays the groundwork for a theory of intergenerational environmental justice based in the human rights to clean air, water, and soil. Three issues foundational to such a theory are explored here. First is the broad question of whether justice is applicable to future (or past) generations in any real sense, or do such issues fall under the rubric of superogation. Second, can environmental goods properly be contained in a theory of distributive justice at all, since, superficially at least, they seem different in kind than the usual objects of justice? I will discuss them as “emergent” goods in fact central to contemporary justice distributions. Third, what is the relationship of justice to rights, and how can environmental human rights be included in justice distributions?
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DOI 10.1007/s12142-006-1023-6
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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Morals by Agreement.David Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Liberalism and the Limits of Justice.Michael Sandel - 2003 - In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Journal of Philosophy. Routledge, in Association with the Open University. pp. 336-343.

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