'Distributive Justice and Climate Change'

In Serena Olsaretti (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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This paper discusses two distinct questions of distributive justice raised by climate change. Stated very roughly, one question concerns how much protection is owed to the potential victims of climate change (the Just Target Question), and the second concerns how the burdens (and benefits) involved in preventing dangerous climate change should be distributed (the Just Burden Question). In Section II, I focus on the first of these questions, the Just Target Question. The rest of the paper examines the second question, the Just Burden Question. To answer this question, I argue, it is necessary to address two important methodological questions (one concerning the choice between what I term Integrationism and Isolationism and the other concerning the choice between what I term Holism and Atomism). Sections III-V, thus, set out and explore these two methodological issues. Having done so, the paper then turns from methodological issues to substantive analysis, and in Section VI it examines three principles of distributive justice that, it has been suggested, should determine how the burden of addressing dangerous climatic changes should be distributed (the Polluter Pays Principle, the Ability to Pay Principle and the Beneficiary Pays Principle).
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