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Climate Change and Global Citizenship

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Abstract

The international climate change regime has failed. Even the most optimistic assessment of action to limit greenhouse pollution in the coming few decades will not prevent calamitous changes in Earth's climate. Arguments for international—that is, interstate—justice that have permeated international negotiations on climate change have been insufficient in fostering robust action by states. Indeed, by diverting all responsibility to states, focusing on international justice has not addressed consumption and pollution by hundreds of millions of affluent people around the world, including many millions living within developing states that have no treaty obligations to limit nationwide pollution. Increasingly, however, it is these individuals that matter: more and more of them who are not now subject to any climate-related legal obligations are able to afford lifestyles that lead to greenhouse gas emissions and more climate change. This is especially true given the very rapid increase in the numbers of affluent people in the developing world. Bearing this in mind, this article goes beyond the still important questions of international climate justice to explore cosmopolitan or global climate justice. Global justice demands that affluent individuals in both affluent and poor states do much more to limit their pollution of the atmosphere. By being good global citizens, capable persons can help states start the world on a path to reducing the severity of climate change.

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... Instead, we adopt a narrower focus on Canadian environmentalists' attribution of responsibility for addressing climate change and their beliefs about the necessary solutions to this problem. This study not only builds on research on cultural interpretations of climate change but also speaks to questions raised in the climate governance and climate justice literatures about who is responsible for addressing this problem and what should be done about it (Bell, 2010;Betsill & Bulkeley, 2006;Blühdorn, 2011;Compston, 2009;Fisher, 2004;Giddens, 2009;Hale, 2010;Harris, 2008;Kondoh, 2009;Parks & Roberts, 2006;Roberts, 2011;Roberts & Parks, 2007). ...
... Finally, research on climate justice disturbs assumptions that climate change is a universal problem that "everybody" is responsible for and is affected by (Bell, 2010;Dorsey, 2007;Harris, 2008;Mohai, Pellow, & Roberts, 2009;Norgaard, 2006;Parks & Roberts, 2006;Roberts, 2011;Roberts & Parks, 2007;Trainor et al., 2009). The notion that climate change is "everybody's problem" obscures disparities in the production of carbon emissions, as well as vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. ...
... The interpretive framework articulated by many of our participants is bound up with the nation-state as the dominant field of political action. A "cosmopolitan" orientation, which rejects statist approaches to the issue and adopts an international outlook, is much less evident (Beck, 2010;Harris, 2008). ...
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The authors examine environmentalists' attribution of responsibility for addressing climate change and their beliefs about solutions to this problem. Their analysis is based on responses to open-ended questions completed by 1,227 members of nine different environmental organizations. For these environmental movement participants, the federal government is seen as most responsible for addressing climate change. Government leadership is necessary because it has the power to set regulations and lead corporations and citizens toward pro-environmental behavior. However, a substantial number of participants also assert that "individuals are the driving force" in dealing with climate change. In this framework, individuals can take responsibility either through making lifestyle changes, or through applying pressure to government and businesses as citizens and consumers. Corporations are interpreted as unwilling to change on their own but must be coerced into becoming more environmentally sustainable by a strong state.
... The specific field of study of environmental citizenship is an example of using citizenship to address environmental problems (Dobson 2003, Smith 1998. Harris (2008Harris ( , 2016 convincingly addresses the problem of reconfiguring citizenship in the context of climate change. He does so by focusing on distributional processes affecting present generations and advocating for more robust distributional policies that should be enforced by governments through appropriate taxation of global wealthy individuals while preventing negative effects on the poor. ...
... The call of Harris to shift responsibility, at least to a larger extent, from nationstates to individuals is worth heeding, considering that consumption choices are the drivers of economies and affect carbon emissions (Harris 2008). It is appropriate to point to current deep inequalities in emissions (Harris 2008): the poorest 40 per cent of the world's population is responsible for only 10 per cent of the world's final energy use, and consequently of about that percentage of greenhouse gas emissions (Grubler et al. 2012). ...
... The call of Harris to shift responsibility, at least to a larger extent, from nationstates to individuals is worth heeding, considering that consumption choices are the drivers of economies and affect carbon emissions (Harris 2008). It is appropriate to point to current deep inequalities in emissions (Harris 2008): the poorest 40 per cent of the world's population is responsible for only 10 per cent of the world's final energy use, and consequently of about that percentage of greenhouse gas emissions (Grubler et al. 2012). Many natural resources are finite and not renewable, implying a problem of inequality of distribution between past, present and future generations. ...
Chapter
Individual and uncoordinated solutions to climate change are prone to failure due to two main problems. The first problem is that epistemological and moral complexities may prevent individuals from comprehending their individual moral responsibilities toward present and future generations. The second problem is that even those individuals who overcome these complexities may fail to act because they are entangled in a closed circuit of procrastination arising from the high costs that they would face in doing so. A range of institutional mechanisms, which we term climate-citizenship policies, could be implemented to solve these problems. Climate citizenship policies, such as personal carbon allowances, ombudsmen for future generations and parliamentary representation quotas for future generations, can influence the private and public spheres of citizens’ lives, thereby assisting the realization of climate justice.
... A partir de esta definición, la ciudadanía global se percibe como una identidad y responsabilidad colectiva, no sólo hacia su propia comunidad local, sino también hacia una comunidad global más amplia. De esta manera, la identidad colectiva ya no se forma desde nociones tradicionales basadas en lo nacional, racial o religioso, sino más bien desde una identidad que hace énfasis en la educación interregional e intercultural, en la acción y en la responsabilidad individual (Harris, 2008;Lewis, 2009). Estos tres énfasis no son dispares; más aún, por su propia naturaleza se complementan. ...
... Esta sensación de empatía, de sentirse conectado con los otros, también puede llevar a un sentido de responsabilidad frente a cómo los comportamientos propios pueden tener un impacto en lugares y personas tanto lejos como cerca. Esta nueva identidad reenfoca por ejemplo la perspectiva de derecho de acceso a recursos basado en clases o regiones y lleva a las personas ARTICULANDO EL DESARROLLO CON LA CIUDADANÍA GLOBAL Y LA RESPONSABILIDAD SOCIAL: UN EXPERIMENTO PEDAGÓGICO Pensamiento Social a tomar decisiones tomando en cuenta un bien mayor más amplio (Harris, 2008;Karlberg, 2008). Estas decisiones empezarían entonces a girar en torno a consideraciones como la equidad social, la conservación medioambiental o el bienestar económico, entre otros. ...
Article
p>Este artículo es uno de los productos de un proyecto pedagógico investigativo llevado a cabo en el primer semestre de 2010 entre las universidades Kennesaw State University, en Atlanta, Estados Unidos, y la Sede Principal de la Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios en Bogotá, Colombia. Este proyecto consistió en poner a dialogar y a trabajar en conjunto, a partir de un marco conceptual unificado, a los estudiantes de dos asignaturas, una de cada universidad. La reflexión que hicieron los tres docentes investigadores que participaron en el proceso acerca del ejercicio pedagógico realizado se dividió en tres partes: la primera, que se presenta a continuación, presenta el marco conceptual y el proceso de aprendizaje temático que guió el curso. La segunda profundiza en los aprendizajes logrados de los estudiantes y la tercera en las actividades específicas que se llevaron a cabo, analiza cuáles funcionaron, cuáles no, y plantea algunas propuestas de mejora para futuras implementaciones. </p
... However, a promising pipeline for collecting granular data can be achieved through cell-phones (as almost every person have a smartphone) this alternative can solve the data collection-curation problem (Giroux et al. 2019;Reades et al. 2007;Bin et al. 2019); As such, societies and the global environment could benefit from our current "digital age", the data should be only used for (i) counting the environmental damages and therefore can be utilized ethically and transparently, (ii) advertising contextualized issues/challenges/actions for local populations in order to shrink their ecological footprints. The "When", currently Earth's system scientists are blowing the whistle about the affluence which is escalating over years, notice that increase in affluence pushes populations to scale-up resources consumption at planetary scales (Dietz and Rosa 1997;Harris 2008;Endo et al. 2017); therefore, a golden-stepping stone for reducing humanity footprint is monitoring and controlling expenditures behavior of urban societies, worldwide. It is important to stress that we need to identify social tipping points for global populations taking into account socioeconomic development needs and local culture, using behavioral mechanisms and pattern recognition to find structure in chaotic social/economic/urban environments so we can be able to encounter grand global challenges (GGC) holistically, therefore, the time-frame of as such action should be "now". ...
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Since the Industrial Revolution and with the rapid changes of production-consumption paradigms, cities have become a hot-spot for materials and energy consumption. Urban anthropogenic activities have given birth to many multi-scalar environmental distortions such as: global warming, biodiversity loss, waste disposal, and many other inter-linked environmental damages. Unfortunately, Earth's life-support system is compromising each year and it is unable to sustain the upcoming population growth and its divergent needs, as such, bringing the world's economy with the global environmental thresholds is irrefutable to maintain human civilization in our solar system. This study tends to exhibit that, within our current environmental uncertainties, contemporary cities-within the digital age-must reshape their urban model in concordance with the Planetary Boundaries' 1 (PBs) framework. Our goal is to show that MIC's urban ecosystems are not in a dynamic nor in a static equilibrium likewise they are too vulnerable to the new extreme climate events. Redesigning cities' urban model using environmental thresholds "biocapacity" is thus highly relevant to upgrade the coping capacity of urban ecosystems. Notice that the current article does not aim to explain the divergent trans-disciplinary meanings of resiliency nor the dilemma of whether to include or exclude the carbon footprint component from the ecological footprint indicator. Not surprisingly, we highly believe that "resiliency" could be a new urban utopia, the vague promise of a radiant horizon for humankind survival from the terrifying perspective of the Anthropocene.
... The example of water labeling, lastly, puts adaptation in a global context as well as a historical perspective. For people endorsing the idea of global citizenship [82] or cosmopolitan justice [83], all people are members of the same global community. Justice principles therefore also apply globally. ...
Article
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It is often assumed that climate adaptation policy asks for new responsibility arrangements between central government and citizens, with citizens getting a more prominent role. This prompts the question under which conditions these new responsibility arrangements can be justified as they may raise serious ethical concerns. Without paying due attention to these ethical concerns, climate adaptation policy may be unsuccessful and even be considered illegitimate. This paper aims to address this topic by exploring some examples of climate adaptation responses and their associated ethical challenges. The examples from the water domain differ in terms of their primary beneficiaries and the extent to which they are prone to collective action problems. Discussion of the examples shows that any shift of responsibilities towards citizens should be accompanied by a governmental responsibility to make sure that citizens are indeed able to assume these responsibilities and a responsibility to see to it that the greater involvement of responsibilities does not create disproportional inequalities.
... 4 Adopting this individualistic approach is able to incorporate the concern that wealthy segments of developing economies should bear burdens appropriate to their levels of wealth and emissions. It also recognizes that very poor members of wealthy states ought not to bear burdens appropriate for compatriots at average national levels of wealth and emissions (Harris, 2008). 5 The fair distribution of mitigation burdens within an effective global scheme should of course take into account the mitigation efforts states have unilaterally implemented. ...
Article
There appear to be few ways available to improve the prospects for international cooperation to address the threat of global warming within the very short time frame for action. I argue that the most effective and plausible way to break the ongoing pattern of delay in the international climate regime is for economically powerful states to take the lead domestically and demonstrate that economic welfare is compatible with rapidly decreasing GHG emissions. However, the costs and risks of acting first can be very large. This raises the question of whether it is fair to expect some states to go far ahead of others in an effort to improve the conditions for cooperation. I argue that a costly obligation to act unilaterally and to accept weak initial reciprocity can be justified and does not violate standards of fair burden sharing. Rather, the costs of creating the underlying conditions within which we can hope to achieve meaningful international cooperation are non-ideal burdens for which we can appropriately assign fair shares.
... The issues related to the impact of environmental pollution on climate changes are more and more frequently discussed in the light of contemporary social and economic processes (e.g. Ebi & McGregor 2008, Harris 2008, Nishioka 2006). The impact of environmental factors on the dynamics of economic growth is so big that a need arises to revise the most basic measures of that growth which have been used so far. ...
Article
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In the present study, the concept of absolute and marginal convergence was applied to evaluate relative emissions trends for basic types of pollution within the countries of the Baltic Sea region. The proposed measure of relative pollution is an indicator for the ecological effectiveness of the analyzed economies. We tested the following hypotheses: (1) the relative levels of pollution among the countries of the Baltic Sea region are characterized by the same long-term equilibrium; (2) the dispersion of pollution diminishes over time. Convergence applies for the relative emissions of acidifying substances, greenhouse gases, and particulate matter. The contributions of the countries' relative levels of pollution to the process of overall convergence were also estimated by means of a new concept of marginal vertical convergence. The results indicate that the estimated contributions vary from country to country.
... Environmental sociologists, however, have increasingly turned their attention to this issue. Much of the theoretical and empirical literature on climate change focuses on four main areas: policy responses to climate change (Borek & Bohon, 2008;Bryner, 2008;Bulkeley & Betsill, 2005;Compston, 2009;Fisher, 2004Fisher, , 2006Fletcher, 2009;Grundmann, 2007;Pralle, 2009;Zahran et al., 2007), public attitudes and behaviors (Dietz et al., 2007;Dunlap, 1998;Henry, 2000;Wolf et al., 2009;Zahran et al., 2006), media framing of the issue (Boykoff & Goodman, 2009;Brossard et al., 2004;Carvalho, 2005;Dispensa & Brulle, 2003;Gavin, 2009;Shanahan & McComas, 1999;Ungar, 1998), and the social justice implications of climate change, or "climate justice" (Dorsey, 2007;Harris, 2008;Parks & Roberts, 2006;Roberts & Parks, 2007). The present analysis contributes to the sociology of global climate change by examining how this issue is interpreted and acted upon by skiers and the ski industry in British Columbia. ...
Article
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Global climate change is among the most visible environmental issues on the public agenda. This paper examines skiing in British Columbia, Canada, as a site where the cultural dynamics of climate change play out. Szerszynski (2007) uses the concept of "irony" to describe the gap between professed environmental values and environmental behavior. The relationship between skiing and global climate change is an exemplar of ecological "irony." The ski industry is often viewed as a "canary in the coalmine" for climate change. Skiers' interview talk also describes climate change as a major environmental concern. At the same time, discussions of climate change and skiing often neglect the intimate connections between skiing, mobility networks and global flows of tourism. These networks produce significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, further contributing to the environmental risks of climate change. This places skiers in an ecologically ironic situation, where pro-environmental discourse conflicts with environmentally-harmful behavior.
... As we encourage research and scholarship to understand current synergies present in current regimes and how they may be enhanced for climate stewardship, we must be mindful of concerns for social justice, as the next two articles by Paul Harris (2008) and Angela Williams (2008) suggest. ...
Article
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Global warming poses significant challenges to society at every level, evading easy definitions that would make the usual instrumental approaches to policymaking and regulation a relatively straightforward task. The embeddedness of the carbon economy in contemporary methods of industrialization and development means that climate protection is at once a problem of environment, the global economy, and human rights. It requires us to understand the strengths and limitations of a regulatory approach, to tease apart the intricacies of international law and governance to find ways to turn economic, legal, and cultural norms toward creating climate justice. Sector specific approaches to dealing with human rights and refugees, as well as international relations based on interstate relations, also have limitations. These include insufficient capacity to appreciate the differentiated responsibility of various actors in the creation of this ecological crisis as well as creating obstacles in finding appropriate ways to motivate those with the most ability to reduce our impact on the climate. Mutual reinforcement and virtuous arbitrage across fragmented regulatory regimes might create new synergies with potentially positive transformative effects for climate protection. To achieve this, the development and maintenance of legitimacy is central. The articles in this edition tackle these issues and, taken as a whole, provide a springboard for future scholarship.
... Accordingly, there have been growing calls for environmentally responsible behaviour (Jin, 2013), environmental citizenship (Hawthorne and Alabaster, 1999) and ecological citizenship (Spaargaren and Oosterveer, 2010) among non-state actors. Climate change action is one area where cooperative action from such actors has been identified as particularly crucial (Harris, 2008;O'Brien, 2015;E. Ostrom, 2014). ...
Article
Motivation plays a powerful role in guiding human decision-making and behaviour, including adaptation to climate change. This study aimed to determine whether community-based governance would increase behavioural support, in the form of donation behaviour, for a climate change adaptation trust fund. A sample of 548 Australians were randomly assigned to view one of two governance scenarios: (1) a community-based scenario in which community members were afforded a high level of autonomy in designing and allocating funding within a trust fund to help their community adapt to climate change, or (2) a government-centred scenario in which decision making regarding the trust fund remained with government officials. Path analysis revealed that the community-based scenario produced significantly higher levels of perceived autonomy support within the study's participants. High levels of perceived autonomy support predicted higher levels of autonomous motivation (indicating stronger citizenship) and lower levels of amotivation, a motivational pattern, which, in turn, predicted greater willingness to donate to the climate change adaptation trust. Results are interpreted in terms of Self-Determination Theory and Motivational Crowding Theory.
... Accordingly, there have been growing calls for environmentally responsible behaviour (Jin, 2013), environmental citizenship (Hawthorne and Alabaster, 1999) and ecological citizenship (Spaargaren and Oosterveer, 2010) among non-state actors. Climate change action is one area where cooperative action from such actors has been identified as particularly crucial (Harris, 2008;O'Brien, 2015;Ostrom, 2014). ...
Article
Motivation plays a powerful role in guiding human decision-making and behaviour, including adaptation to climate change. This study aimed to determine whether community-based governance would increase behavioural support, in the form of donation behaviour, for a climate change adaptation trust fund. A sample of 548 Australians was randomly assigned to view one of two governance scenarios: (1) a community-based scenario in which community members were afforded a high level of autonomy in designing and allocating funding within a trust fund to help their community adapt to climate change, or (2) a government-centred scenario in which decision making regarding the trust fund remained with government officials. Path analysis revealed that the community-based scenario produced significantly higher levels of perceived autonomy support within the study’s participants. High levels of perceived autonomy support predicted higher levels of autonomous motivation (indicating stronger citizenship) and lower levels of amotivation, a motivational pattern, which, in turn, predicted greater willingness to donate to the climate change adaptation trust. Results are interpreted in terms of Self-Determination Theory and Motivational Crowding Theory.
Chapter
The 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change aims for “stabilization of greenhouse gas [GHG] concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” (UNFCCC 1992: Article 2). To achieve this objective, governments have agreed that climate change is a common but differentiated responsibility: all countries are responsible for doing something about climate change, but the affluent ones, which are the largest historical polluters of the atmosphere, are obligated to act first to reduce their emissions of GHGs before the developing countries are required to limit theirs. Diplomats heeded recommendations of philosophers and experts on international cooperation who saw international justice as essential to an effective and fair climate change regime. Some governments have started to act on their obligations, as reflected in recent efforts by some European states to limit their GHG emissions (Harris 2006; 2007b). However, these efforts have been tiny compared to what is required. Nearly every day we are confronted with news about the increasing impacts of global climate change. By any reasonable measure, anthropogenic interference with the atmospheric commons is already dangerous, contributing to environmental damage and human suffering, especially in the poorest parts of the world (IPCC 2007).
Article
Drawing upon the concepts of framing theory, this article explores, through close textual scrutiny, how two leading Bangladeshi newspapers have approached the issues of climate justice while covering three major climate summits, Bali 2007, Copenhagen 2009 and Durban 2011. The analysis reveals significant shifts in the treatment of issues related to climate justice by Bangladeshi journalists. Earlier coverage framed the problems mainly in terms of compensatory and distributive justice, but by 2011 disappointment, lost hopes and the need for activist movement are more prominent. The final analysis identifies important tensions between international developments and local engagement and perceptions, indicating that national and even local developments to address climate change problems in Bangladesh seem set to become more prominent news items in future.
Article
Why do some cities join transnational climate change networks while others do not? This study examines the factors that drive cities' participation in transnational climate change networks, such as the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Cities for Climate Protection program. Hierarchical analysis of 256 cities in 118 countries suggests that the degree of cities' globalization, or their level of "global cityness," is positively associated with the cities' membership in the global networks. The level of individual cities' integration into the international economy and transportation grid is crucial for sharing ideas of global environmental responsibility. This tendency is found both in global cities of both developing and developed countries. Hierarchical models also suggest that attributes of cities-not country attributes such as democracy, income level, and being an Annex I country under the Kyoto Protocol-account for cities' memberships in transnational networks.
Book
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This book explores the increasing concern over the extent to which those suffering from forced cross-border displacement as a result of environmental change are protected under international human rights law. Formally they are not entitled to admission or stay in a third state country, a situation that has been identified as an international "legal protection gap". The book seeks to provide answers to two basic questions: whether and to what extent existing international law protects cross-border environmental displacement, and whether and how existing formalized regional complementary protection standards can interpretively solidify and conceptualize protection for cross-border environmental displacement. The discussion outlines that the protection of the human person is not only an ex post facto obligation of states, but must be increasingly seen as an ex ante one. The analysis further suggests that the European Union regionally orientated protection regime can help states to consolidate an evolving protection paradigm of proactive and reactive measures being erected at the international level. It can also narrow the identified legal protection gaps. In so doing, it helps states to reconceptualise protection as a holistic and dynamic enterprise. This book will be of great interest to academics in law, political science and human rights, policy makers and civil society organisations both at national and international level.
Article
Although states and international organizations regularly rely on scenario modelling to plan for the future, it is not generally used in legal analysis. This article explores, in a preliminary fashion, whether (and if so how) the use of scenarios can illuminate such analyses. Five high-level scenarios concerning the future of international climate change law are developed, ranging from an optimistic scenario, in which there is coordinated mitigation between states within the confines of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to a pessimistic scenario, in which each state engages in its own autonomous adaptation to climate change. Some consequences for individual states of each scenario are then explored and some possible legal responses of states are developed. Governments should work together in mitigation and adaptation to achieve a global response to climate change, and should work to secure advantages in the carbon markets for their own companies, develop a geoengineering strategy, and be aware that recasting climate change as a security issue risks undermining the logic of global cooperation.
Article
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Article
Climate change is by definition a global problem that is subject to a variety of regulatory initiatives. Besides the comprehensive framework established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, as strengthened by the recent Durban negotiations, a wide array of regulatory measures have been set up by public and private actors, either alone or via partnerships. This article aims to provide a brief overview and legal assessment of transnational regulatory networks for climate change, including both established regulators and rules. Indeed, the ‘regulatory proliferation’ in the field pushes to disentangle not only the reciprocal relationship between rules directly targeting climate change, but also the relationship between them and ‘external’ rules only indirectly relating to climate change. Mapping the existing climate change regulatory framework is essential for spotting potential loopholes and inconsistencies, correctly interpreting existing norms and eventually undertaking further regulatory action. Overall, the article concludes that within the context of a generally ‘complex’ regulatory regime, a gap currently exists between primary rules which gather an array of intertwined public–private regulatory initiatives and enforced secondary rules which encompass mainly obligations established by public actors only indirectly targeting climate change.
Article
As institutions of higher education adopt more global learning initiatives to improve global competencies and increase global citizenship among their students, the creative implementation of intercultural exchanges is critical. This article is a reflection on the experiences of implementing a virtual classroom linking students at Kennesaw State University (KSU) and Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios (Uniminuto). The virtual classroom is designed to address global competencies in the areas of knowledge, empathy, acceptance, foreign language ability, and intercultural teamwork. This article outlines the project history, specific class activities, challenges faced in implementation, and recommendations for modifying a future course and for adaptation at other universities.
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The creation and funding of international institutions for adaptation to climate change involve questions of justice. Should unconditional assistance flow to governments or should assistance be provided in ways that ensure benefits flow to vulnerable populations? Do major emitters of greenhouse gases have special obligations to assist the developing world adapt to climate change? Which actors are the proper bearers of obligations to assist? After reviewing both state-centred and cosmopolitan arguments about adaptation assistance, it is argued that neither philosophical perspective justifies the statist design of existing institutions. A more just and effective international agreement on climate change adaptation must achieve a higher degree of consistency between the principles of burden sharing applied internationally and domestically. Adaptation assistance should target human welfare rather than provide compensation to states, and should be funded through measures that impose similar emission costs on affluent people in both developed and developing countries. These arguments are briefly demonstrated using the case of China.
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This book presents a serious and workable solution to the grave problem of climate change, grounded in practical cosmopolitan ethics. In particular it addresses a key aspect of climate change politics and policy that is often overlooked: the role of individuals.
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Environmental Ethics consists in the study of normative issues and principles relating to human interactions with the natural environment (and, to some extent, to this environment as modified by previous human activity, e.g. through agriculture and human settlements), and to their context and consequences. It forms a crucial area of applied ethics, crucial for the guidance of individuals, corporations and governments in determining the principles affecting their policies, their lifestyles and their actions across the entire range of environmental issues. It is equally crucial for the appraisal of such actions, lifestyles and policies.
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Explores the ethical principles and concepts relevant to global environmental problems. Addresses climate change, overstressed natural resources and endangered wildlife, as well as many other issues that are affecting both the developed and developing worlds. Cosmopolitan and other kinds of ethical theory are sifted, and a consequentialist ethic is defended as the best basis for coping with global environmental problems. This cosmopolitan ethic is equally important for interpersonal issues, and coheres with an understanding of humanity as trustees of the natural world, and with the values elicited from reflection on the possibility of human extinction. Issues covered include intergenerational equity, priorities among species, and international justice. The author also considers the application of related principles to problems such as deforestation, the increasing scarcity of fresh water, and population growth. Finally, a cosmopolitan ethic is shown to involve a commiment in practice to global civil society and to global citizenship.
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Globalization is patently changing our understanding of environmental politics. It relates to environmental problems in two ways. First, environmental problems and their effects are global, and hence solutions beyond the remit of nation states are required. Second, globalization may benefit local?–?global relationship and contribute to the realization of a sustainable society. These points obviously influence green political theory since one of its tasks is to understand the transformation of political community in the context of the global scope of environmental problems. One route is through laying the foundations for an autochthonous idea of citizenship namely, ecological or environmental citizenship. The goal of this article is to explore the connections between cosmopolitan reflections on citizenship on the one hand, and green political theory's attempts to develop its own idea of citizenship, on the other. It is argued that although the idea of ecological citizenship may be regarded as a kind of cosmopolitan or global citizenship, its features and current degree of development move towards a new kind of citizenship.
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In order to decide whether a comprehensive treaty covering all greenhouse gases is the best next step after UNCED, one needs to distinguish among the four questions about the international justice of such international arrangements: (1) What is a fair allocation of the costs of preventing the global warming that is still avoidable?; (2) What is a fair allocation of the costs of coping with the social consequences of the global warming that will not in fact be avoided?; (3) What background allocation of wealth would allow international bargaining (about issues like 1 and 2) to be a fair process?; and (4) What is a fair allocation of emissions of greenhouse gases (over the long-term and during the transition to the long-term allocation)? In answering each question we must specify from whom any transfers should come and to whom any transfers should go. As the grounds for the answers we usually face a choice between fault-based principles and no-fault principles.
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Ecological citizenship is a justice-based account of how we should live, based upon private and public action to reduce the environmental impacts of our everyday lives on others. This paper examines ecological citizenship at perhaps its most mundane, yet its most ubiquitous and fundamental level: the choices and actions which individuals and households make on a daily basis, in the supermarket and on the high street. ‘Sustainable consumption’ has become a core policy objective of the new millennium in national and international arenas, and the paper critically evaluates the UK policy model of sustainable consumption as a tool for ecological citizenship. It first reviews the debate about sustainable consumption and describes two competing perspectives: one concerned with reform of the mainstream, and another more radical alternative. It then appraises the mainstream policy model of sustainable consumption in the light of ecological citizenship goals, and identifies a number of failures. Turning to the alternative perspective of sustainable consumption, a number of initiatives are discussed which are able to overcome the limitations of the mainstream model in enabling individual consumers to be good ecological citizens. Finally, the policy implications of this analysis are drawn out in order to nurture the practice of ecological citizenship.
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Disagreement over principles for the inclusion of developing countries in future global greenhouse gas caps remains an obstacle to the ratification and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Baer et al. argue that a transition from allocations based on past emissions (with a "grandfather clause"), such as the Kyoto Protocol, embodies for the industrialized nations, to allocations a new regime based on equal per capita emissions rights, is a necessary and fair solution that can lead to an effective global reduction regime. Such an allocation is consistent with numerous ethical principles and legal precedents, could facilitate trading in emissions permits, and can be implemented through a transitional period that accommodates the different situations and emissions levels of various countries.
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Thomas Pogge has been teaching moral and political philosophy at Columbia University since receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University. His recent publications include the edited volume, Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right (2005); Real WorldJustice (co-edited with Andreas Follesdal, 2005); World Poverty and Human Rights (2002); “Can the Capability Approach be Justified?” (Philosophical Topics, 2002); and, with Sanjay Reddy, “How Not to Count the Poor” (www.socialanalysis.org). He is editor for social and political philosophy for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science. His work was supported, most recently, by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, All Souls College, Oxford, and the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda. He is currently Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Australian National University (an Australian Research Council-funded Special Research Centre).
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Wolfgang Sachs argues for environmental human rights as a fundamental prerequisite to end the violence of development. He outlines the numerous conflicts over natural resources in the struggle for livelihoods and argues for a transition to sustainability in the more affluent economies, in both the North and South, as a necessary condition for the safeguarding of the subsistence rights of those whose livelihood depends on direct access to nature. Development (2004) 47, 42–49. doi:10.1057/palgrave.development.1100016
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This book is likely to become the definitive study on European global climate change politics. Its focus on the formulation, ratification, and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol within Europe make it essential reading for all who wish to understand how domestic foreign policy influenced the European Union s decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol despite the United States decision to abandon the agreement. The book provides important historical background, case studies of the most influential European countries to shape the Kyoto Protocol, and an assessment of what enlargement means for the implementation of the agreement. It also examines how Europe s policies have shaped and been shaped by participation in the Kyoto negotiation and implementation processes. It will be an important item for the libraries of any institution or scholar with an interest in the role of Europe in addressing climate change. Miranda Schreurs, University of Maryland, US The core objective of this book is to better understand the role of foreign policy the crossovers and interactions between domestic and international politics and policies in efforts to preserve the environment and natural resources. Underlying this objective is the belief that it is not enough to analyze domestic or international political actors, institutions and processes by themselves. We need to understand the interactions among them, something that explicit thought about foreign policy can help us do. The eclectic group of contributors explore European and EU responses to global climate change, and provide insights into issues on environmental protection, sustainable development, international affairs and foreign policy.
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The 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment brought world leaders together for the first time to discuss the environmental challenge. Since Stockholm, environmental diplomacy has addressed many issues, with varying results. Some success has been achieved, but in general the record shows the inadequacy of international cooperation to meet the environmental challenge.
In this article, Professor Dale Jamieson examines the relationship between climate change and public health from an ethical perspective. He begins by exploring the link between global environmental change and public health and concludes that global warming poses a serious potential threat to human health. Professor Jamieson then questions why the potential health effects of climate change have received so much attention when the other ramifications of climate change have been left unaddressed He argues that the combination of several factors has brought the issue of potential health effects to the forefront of the climate change debate. One such factor is the championing of the issue by "issue entrepreneurs ", small groups of people who employ diverse forms of institutional authority to promote a specific issue. Another contributing factor is an effort to engage the general public in the issue of global change. The potential health effects of climate change have also been brought to the forefront by the rise of AIDS, a disease which has proven that the threat of infectious disease continues to affect public health. Finally, a new understanding of microbes and a new motivation for development aid have brought the potential health effects of climate change to public attention. Professor Jamieson then examines both the direct and indirect health effects of climate change. He analyzes whether the hypothesized effects of climate change are currently observable and concludes that while recent outbreaks of infectious disease seem to suggest an affirmative answer, mortality and morbidity statistics indicate that the health effects of climate change have yet to be felt. He states that the future impact of the health effects of climate change will depend centrally on the social, political, and economic approaches adopted today.
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It is widely recognized that changes are occurring to the earth's climate and, further, that these changes threaten important human interests. This raises the question of who should bear the burdens of addressing global climate change. This paper aims to provide an answer to this question. To do so it focuses on the principle that those who cause the problem are morally responsible for solving it (the ‘polluter pays’ principle). It argues that while this has considerable appeal it cannot provide a complete account of who should bear the burdens of global climate change. It proposes three ways in which this principle needs to be supplemented, and compares the resulting moral theory with the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’.
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The paper has the following structure. In Section I, I introduce some important methodological preliminaries by asking: How should one reason about global environmental justice in general and global climate change in particular? Section II introduces the key normative argument; it argues that global climate change damages some fundamental human interests and results in a state of affairs in which the rights of many are unprotected: as such it is unjust. Section III addresses the complexities that arise from the fact that some of the ill effects of global climate change will fall on the members of future generations. Section IV shows that some prevailing approaches are unable to deal satisfactorily with the challenges posed by global climate change. If the argument of this paper is correct, it follows that those who contribute to global climate change through high emissions are guilty of human rights violations and they should be condemned as such.
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In his provocative book World Poverty and Human Rights , Thomas Pogge employs two distinct argumentative strategies. The first is ecumenical: Pogge makes powerful arguments for redressing world poverty that aim to appeal to persons with divergent views regarding its causes, and also for the nature and extent of our obligations to the global poor. This is an extremely important part of his book: World Poverty and Human Rights argues that on any reasonable moral theory and across a wide range of views of the ultimate causes of world poverty, we will be seen to have obligations to the world's poor. Pogge's ecumenical argument shows that one does not have to accept a principle of global equality of resources in order to conclude that we have a general obligation to aid other human beings in severe need. I will discuss this strategy of argument at the end of my essay. In his second and main argumentative strategy, Pogge defends a distinctive normative and empirical perspective. For, at the heart of the book is the thesis that we in the developed countries have special obligations to end world poverty because we have significantly contributed to its existence. Pogge argues for a causal contribution principle, which holds that we are morally responsible for world poverty because and to the extent that we have caused it. Pogge also argues that our obligations not to harm others apply universally and are stronger than the obligations we have to provide aid. In fact, on Pogge's view global justice involves solely this negative duty—a duty not to inflict harm on others. The central innovation of the book is to defend a normative premise typically associated with libertarianism—that we have strong duties not to harm but only weak duties to benefit people we have not harmed—and conjoin it with an empirical claim to generate an argument for radical global redistribution. Although there is much else of interest in World Poverty and Human Rights , particularly Pogge's specific policy proposals to diminish global poverty, the causal contribution thesis and the identification of a duty not to harm as the fundamental principle of justice arguably form its intellectual core and central innovations. In this comment, I will critique both Pogge's use of the causal contribution principle as well as his attempt to derive all of our obligations to the global poor from the need to refrain from harming others.
The Unavoidability of Justice Subsistence Emissions and Luxury Emissions
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China Shifts Gears: Automakers, Oil, Pollution, and Development Ethics and Global Climate Change
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To Get Rich Is Glorious and Risky International Herald Tribune China Now No. 1 in CO2 Emissions; USA in Second Position
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