International Justice and Sharing the Burden of Environmental Protection

Wilfred Beckerman and Joanna Pasek

in Justice, Posterity, and the Environment

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780199245086
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598784 | DOI:
 International Justice and Sharing the Burden of Environmental Protection

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Some current environmental problems are global and have public good elements that raise, in an acute form, the question of how the costs of a collective effort from which the world as a whole will benefit should be shared out among poor and rich countries. This chapter discusses how far theories of justice provide guidance to this question. It argues that the answer seems to be ‘very little’ and that, in order to arrive at some ground rules for allocating the burden of global environmental protection between countries—as between generations—we are forced back on humanitarian principles of concern for the poor.

Keywords: cost allocation; environment; environmental protection; humanitarianism; international justice; public good; John Rawls

Chapter.  4740 words. 

Subjects: Environment

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