Ethics and Climate

Donald Brown

Ethics and Climate - Donald Brown

ClimateEthics.org Identifies Ethical Issues Entailed by Copenhagen Negotiations

Over the next few weeks ClimateEthics.org will be reporting on ethical issues at the center of the Copenhagen climate change negotiations as they unfold. ClimateEthics.org has already published several articles on these issues that have arisen as the world prepared for Copenhagen. See, for instance, Recommendations for Strengthening the Ethical Dimensions of the UNFCCC Negotiating Text Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Ethical Failures of National GHG Emissions Reduction Proposals Approaching Copenhagen, Uncertainty and REDD: an Ethical Approach to this Nagging Problem, Contraction & Convergence and Greenhouse Development Rights: A Critical Comparison Between Two Salient Climate-Ethical Concepts

A few days before Copenhagen, ClimateEthics.org sees the following civilization challenging ethical issues raised by the Copenhagen Agenda.  References to “non-papers” in the following are documents that have been developed by preparatory meetings leading up to Copenhagen.

ClimateEthics.org will be expanding on this preliminary analysis as the Copenhagen agenda moves along in the next two weeks.

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Ethical Obligations of States, Regional and Local Governments, Organizations, Businesses, and Individuals to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

I. Introduction

Several prior ClimateEthics posts have examined the ethical obligations of nations to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in considerable detail. See, for example, “Ethical Failures of National GHG Emissions Reduction Proposals Approaching Copenhagen,” “Ethical Principles Governing the Basic Foundations on Climate Change Policies,” and “Minimum Ethical Criteria For All Post-Kyoto Regime Proposals: What Does Ethics Require of A Copenhagen Outcome.” As we have seen, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), nations are duty-holders and as such have responsibilities to reduce GHG emissions within their jurisdiction. Consequently, as we have also seen in many prior ClimateEthics posts, all nations have duties to reduce their GHG emissions to their fair share of safe global emissions as quickly as possible.

Prior posts have looked at the ethical duties and responsibilities of nations. This post, for the first time, reviews what can be said about the duties of regional and local governments, organizations, businesses, and individuals.

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