Mikro-Zertifikate: Für Gerechtigkeit unter Luftverschmutzern

Olaf L. Müller
Humboldt-University, Berlin
What would be a fair solution to the problem of climate change? How should we distribute duties and financial burdens of the necessary CO2 reductions if this is to be done in an equitable manner? My answer to these ethical questions is based on a principle formulated by Angela Merkel: Every human has the right to cause as much in terms of CO2 emissions as any other. Unlike the German chancellor who wants to implement this principle only in the long term, I argue that there should already be equality in the case of CO2 emissions under the regime to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.First, the increase in worldwide CO2 emissions should be halted. To achieve this in a just way, the rights allowing CO2 emissions are issued in small portions. The amount of CO2 that may be emitted according to these certificates will equal the amount currently emitted per year. Whoever wishes to emit CO2, regardless of where, when and for what, may do so only after cancelling a corresponding number of micro-certificates, otherwise a penalty would be incurred. The micro-certificates are traded on a stock exchange; their price is determined by supply and demand.My proposal differs from the auctions of CO2 certificates that have been conceived and organised so far in two aspects. On the one hand all emissions of climate-adverse gases should ultimately be included in the trading of micro-certificates. On the other hand, the money collected in the auctions of micro-certificates will be disbursed to every single person at regular intervals and without deductions. This is easy, fair and transparent.In a second step, the worldwide CO2 emissions have to be reduced drastically: After a respite of seven years the seven years of drought in CO2 politics begin: Every year the micro-certificates issued are cut by 10 percent. At the end of this lean spell the worldwide CO2 emissions have been halved, and money has been invested where it helps the climate most and where this costs least.
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What Climate Policy Can a Utilitarian Justify?Bernward Gesang - 2013 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (2):377-392.
Kollektive Verantwortung für den Klimaschutz.Ivo Wallimann-Helmer - 2017 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 4 (1):211-238.

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