Chapter

Sustainability and Intergenerational Justice

Brian Barry

in Fairness and Futurity

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780198294894
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599064 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198294891.003.0005
 Sustainability and Intergenerational Justice

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Brian Barry argues that justice is an appropriate language in which to articulate our concern for future generations. He regards sustainability as an inescapably normative notion, and argues that disagreements over its meaning are disagreements about what should be sustained. His answer is ‘some notion of equal opportunity across generations’––and this will involve a protection of nature consistent with the provision of inter‐generational equality of opportunity. Barry believes that one of the biggest obstacles to realizing sustainability is population growth: any given generation cannot be responsible for population growth in the future, he argues.

Keywords: equal opportunity; generations; justice; nature; norms; population; sustainability

Chapter.  9488 words. 

Subjects: Environment

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