Ethical Challenges in Environmental Policy

Robert C. Paehlke

in The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199744671
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:
Ethical Challenges in Environmental Policy


This article begins by discussing the historical links between environmental policy and environmental ethics. It then examines some of the ethical issues associated with protecting wild nature and wilderness. It discusses the idea of environmental rights, including the possibility that there is a right to a clean environment. Next, it considers the ethical dimensions of the relationship between social inequality and environmental protection: how can we assure that the opportunities to utilize and to enjoy and be sustained by nature are fairly distributed among humans? It discusses ethical concerns raised in debates over environmental aspects of using private and common property. The article concludes with a discussion of the ethical aspects of emerging environmental policy concerns, including genetically modified organisms and climate change.

Keywords: environmental ethics; environmental rights; social inequality; environmental protection; genetically modified organisms; climate change

Article.  9581 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »