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Atmospheric JusticeA Political Theory of Climate Change$
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Steve Vanderheiden

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195334609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195334609.001.0001

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Equity, Responsibility, and Climate Change Mitigation

Equity, Responsibility, and Climate Change Mitigation

(p.221) 7 Equity, Responsibility, and Climate Change Mitigation
Atmospheric Justice

Steve Vanderheiden (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter incorporates arguments and observations from earlier chapters into a case for a version of the equal shares approach of equal per capita national emissions allowances, contrasting this approach with the equal burdens model in which costs of mitigation and adaptation are equally assigned. A case is made against several versions of the equal burdens approach (including the Kyoto Protocol and the Bush administration's emissions intensity proposal) as being unjust, and a modified equal shares approach is defended against several anticipated objections. The case is made for instantiating the equal basic access to the earth's atmospheric services as a moral and legal environmental right, drawing upon Shue's distinction between basic and non-basic rights, and comparing this right with the claimed right to develop. Finally, it makes the case for procedural fairness in global climate policy development, urging recognition of this democratic norm for both principled and practical reasons.

Keywords:   environmental rights, equal shares, basic rights, Shue, procedural fairness

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