Global Harm and Global Equity: The Case of Greenhouse Justice

Richard W. Miller

in Globalizing Justice

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199581986
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723247 | DOI:
Global Harm and Global Equity: The Case of Greenhouse Justice

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Coping with harmful side‐effects of legitimate activities is a central aspect of moral responsibility in global interactions, epitomized in containment of climate harms due to greenhouse gas emissions. This chapter argues that ordinary values of trust and trusteeship that guide compatriots' responses to their interactions also make a model of fair teamwork the fundamental moral guide to coping with the process of global warming. Accounting for what is valid in demands for special concern for the poor, compensation for pollution and equal per capita emissions rights, this approach favors the regime with the impartially preferable allocation of climate burdens: burdens from unmitigated climate harms and from reduced economic opportunities due either to reduced emissions or to reduced access to the global atmospheric sink. The resulting standard of equity puts the brunt of emissions reductions on developed countries. The resulting standard of adequacy requires severe emissions cuts, posing significant risks of economic loss, to guard against risks of climate catastrophe.

Keywords: climate change; global warming; greenhouse effect; emissions; emissions rights; environmental justice; mitigation; equity; pollution; unintended harms

Chapter.  14898 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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