Climate Change Mitigation and Intergenerational Justice

Fabian Schuppert

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    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Existing climate change mitigation policies are particularly concerned with the reconciliation of two seemingly conflicting aims: environmental protection and economic efficiency. The normative principles underlying these policies meanwhile focus on two central ideas: fair burden-sharing and agents' responsibility. However, both existing policy instruments and their supporting philosophical principles are highly problematic in terms of intergenerational justice and truly effective climate change mitigation. Three competing conceptions for allocating and distributing the burdens of climate change mitigation (cap-and-trade schemes, carbon emission taxes, and personal ecological space quotas) and their compatibility with principles of intra- and intergenerational justice are analysed and evaluated. None of the proposed instruments is able to satisfy the demands of effective mitigation and egalitarian justice on its own, which suggests that existing proposals for the distribution of emission rights and climate change-related costs need to be supported by a thicker account of intergenerational justice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)303-331
    JournalEnvironmental Politics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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