Cashing in on climate change : political theory and global emissions trading
Page, Edward. (2011) Cashing in on climate change : political theory and global emissions trading. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Volume 14 (Number 2). pp. 259-279. ISSN 1369-8230
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13698230.2011.529713
Global climate change raises profound questions for social and political theorists. The human impacts of climate change are sufficiently broad, and generally adverse, to threaten the rights and freedoms of existing and future members of all countries. These impacts will also exacerbate inequalities between rich and poor countries despite the limited role of the latter in their origins. Responding to these impacts will require the implementation of environmental and social policies that are both environmentally effective and consistent with the equality and liberty of populations to which they are applied. This article considers whether global emissions trading, namely, the creation of a global market for tradable allowances conferring the right to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gas over a specified time period, is normatively defensible from a liberal egalitarian perspective. After a brief review of the theory and practice of emissions trading, a number of normative objections to the international trade in emissions allowances are analysed. These objections appeal to one, or a combination, of two claims. First, emissions trading schemes are likely to produce undesirable outcomes, such as environmental neglect, in the further future. I call these ‘instrumental objections’. Second, emissions trading schemes violate non‐consequential norms of justice and fairness. I call these ‘intrinsic objections’. It is argued that, when combined, instrumental and intrinsic objections indicate that instituting a global network of emissions trading schemes, as envisioned by a number of parties to the Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord, would be illegitimate in absence of significant procedural and consequential safeguards.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JC Political theory
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Politics and International Studies|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Climatic changes -- Political aspects, Consequentialism (Ethics), Environmental policy , Emissions trading, Commodification|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy|
|Official Date:||16 March 2011|
|Page Range:||pp. 259-279|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
Banuri, T., Göran-Mäler, K., Grubb, M., Jacobson, H. K. and Yamin, F., 1996.
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