The Ethics of Climate Nudges: Central Issues for Applying Choice Architecture Interventions to Climate Policy

European Journal of Risk Regulation (2021)
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Abstract

While nudging has garnered plenty of interdisciplinary attention, the ethics of applying it to climate policy has been little discussed. However, not all ethical considerations surrounding nudging are straightforward to apply to climate nudges. In this article, we overview the state of the debate on the ethics of nudging and highlight themes that are either specific to or particularly important for climate nudges. These include: the justification of nudges that are not self-regarding; how to account for climate change denialists; transparency; knowing the right or best behaviours; justice concerns; and whether the efficacy of nudges is sufficient for nudges to be justified as a response to the climate crisis. We conclude that climate nudges raise distinct ethical questions that ought to be considered in developing climate nudges.

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