Social Justice

Securing Equitable Outcomes through Policy

In the previous section, it's argued that the danger that human and ecological systems face with respect to climate change is not so much tied up in the climate system itself, but in other social and economic processes that contribute to vulnerability, not the least of which is human aspirations for wealth and the security of livelihoods. This suggests that the criteria we select for evaluating possible climate policies should reflect such processes. In the book Climate Code Red,19 a number of...

Health Impacts of Climate Change

Against this background, in 2008 the World Health Organization WHO chose the theme 'protecting health from climate change' for World Health Day.11 This involved public talks, media releases and national policy reports launched around the world by a variety of organisations. Dr Margaret Chan, Director of the WHO, stated that Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Climate change will affect, in profoundly adverse ways, some of the most fundamental determinants of health...

Bibliography

Kartha, The Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World The Greenhouse Development Rights Framework, Heinrich Boll Foundation, Berlin, 2007. Department For International Development DFID , 'Adaptation to Climate Change Making Development Disaster-Proof', Key Sheet 06, DFID, London, 2004. Friedman, L., 'Adaptation World Bank Releases New Adaptation Plan', Climate Wire, 7 April 2008, www.eenews.net Fry, I., 'An International Blueprint on Adaptation', paper...

Defining Equitable Distribution

During the 2000 US presidential election, when the candidates were asked in a televised debate what they would do about global warming, George W. Bush said I'll tell you one thing I'm not going to do is I'm not going to let the United States carry the burden for cleaning up the world's air, like the Kyoto treaty would have done. China and India were exempted from that treaty. I think we need to be more even-handed. As president, Bush frequently repeated this line of reasoning. Indeed, the issue...

Taking Responsibility You Broke It You Fix It

According to one historical understanding of fairness, if someone has taken unfair advantage of someone else, and imposed costs on them, then, they should bear burdens at least equivalent to the costs imposed on the person they have harmed. According to Henry Shue, the 'you broke it, you fix it' approach is exactly the sort of principle that many have thought appropriate for addressing climate change. Shue writes, When a party in the past has taken an unfair advantage of others by imposing...

The Political Economy of Vulnerability and Adaptation in Niue

Niue is small island in the South Pacific located 480 kilometres east of Tonga, about a four hour flight from Auckland. The island has a land area of 259 square kilometres. It may be the only country in the world that is a net sink of greenhouse gases because forest regrowth appears to be sequestering more carbon than is being emitted from human activities.11 As a result of climate change, air temperature in Niue is expected to increase by between 0.7 to 1.5 degrees C by the year 2050.12 Only...

Carbon Trading The Moral Objections

While most environmentalists are now resigned to carbon trading schemes and many are enthusiastic supporters it was not so long ago that some regarded such schemes with deep suspicion.5 The standard defence of cap-and-trade schemes over carbon taxes is that they enable progressive reductions over time in the total quantity of carbon emissions in a given jurisdiction which cannot be guaranteed by a tax while also conferring flexibility on the part of emitters to find their own least-cost...

International Carbon Trading

The fairness of any carbon trading system depends, in part, on the fairness of the initial allocation of allowances. To the extent that Annex I countries seek to reach their Kyoto targets solely or primarily through a national trading system, linked with the Kyoto flexibility mechanisms, then the question of the justice of the initial target allocation arises.22 While the UNFCCC's burden sharing principles of equity and CBDR underpinned the bifurcated architecture of the Kyoto Protocol which...

Role of Primary Health Care

To understand how primary health care can best respond to climate change, it is necessary to understand how primary health care has evolved, how it has been shaped by momentous global social transformations, how it varies between countries, and the fundamental values that underpin it. In one sense, climate change is just the latest in a long line of challenges that primary care services have faced, and indeed a great strength of primary care is its adaptability and flexibility. Some potential...

Responding to the Carbon Debt

Australia has the highest per capita greenhouse gas GHG emission rates on the planet, at about twenty seven tonnes per person carbon dioxide-equivalent per annum this is even higher than emissions per person in the United States roughly twenty four tonnes and more than double the per capita average for industrialised countries. Our energy intensive economy and lifestyle is typical of the developed world, which is responsible for over 80 per cent of all GHG emissions being produced at present....

Attribution of Regional Climate Change and Its Impacts

Graph Natural And Anthropogenic Forcings

A recent assessment of progress on the attribution of observed global and regional climate changes to different forcing factors has been provided by the IPCC.11 This provided higher confidence assessments of the role of increasing greenhouse gases in causing recent global climate change, concluding 'Greenhouse gas forcing has very likely caused most of the observed global warming over the last 50 years'12 and 'It is likely that there has been a substantial anthropogenic contribution to surface...

Fair Shares and Equal Claims

While each of the proceeding accounts of how to distribute the burdens of responding to climate change is intuitively plausible, I want to suggest that what I will call the 'fair shares' approach is better suited to dealing with the problem of historical emissions. The fair shares approach discussed below assumes that the main duty generating reason that people have to pay for climate change is that they can afford to pay for the costs of climate change and should do so in pursuit of the goal...

Philip Sutton The Department Of Economic And Community Development Linkedin

Adger, Neil, 'Scales of Governance and Environmental Justice for Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change', Journal of International Development, vol. 13, 2001, pp. 921-31. --'Social Capital, Collective Action and Adaptation to Climate Change', Economic Geography, vol. 79, 2003, pp. 387-404. Adger, Neil, Nigel W Arnell and Emma Tompkins, 'Successful Adaptation to Climate Change Across Scales', Global Environmental Change Part A, vol. 15, 2005, pp. 77-86. Adger, Neil, Jouni Paavola and...

Peter Singer

For most of human existence, people living only short distances apart might as well have been living in separate worlds. A river, a mountain range, a stretch of forest or desert these were enough to cut people off from each other. As a result, human beings developed systems of ethics to deal with problems within our community, rather than with the impact of our actions on those far away. Responsibilities and harms were generally clear and well defined. We took the atmosphere and the oceans for...

New Definitions of Security

In late 2007, the Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty said that climate change, with the threat of water and food shortages and refugees fleeing rising sea levels, would be the greatest security risk of this century. While there is little doubt that large numbers of people will be forced to leave their homes and countries to seek refuge elsewhere because of climate change there is another reality which will occur at the same time. The people most at risk of displacement will be...

Global Policy Strategy

Global cooperation is necessary to develop a first best policy strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the extent of climate change. A return to the results of figure 2 provides one perspective of why it will be difficult to achieve an effective global strategy. In particular, in the absence of a global government there are incentives for individual countries to choose a BAU strategy. Often this is referred to as free riding, or a type of prisoners' dilemma game in which while it is in...

Climate Justice Vulnerability and Adaptation

This chapter is primarily concerned with climate change as an issue of distributive justice. The interplay of the causes of climate change on the one hand, and the determinants of vulnerability to that change on the other, raises issues of distributive justice.1 For example, it is well understood that because emissions of greenhouse gases are closely correlated to income, it is typically the case that the wealthiest groups are responsible for the bulk of past and present emissions, implying in...

Competitive Partial Equilibrium Model

Social Optimum

Consider by way of illustration the example of fossil fuel fired electricity or transport. Under BAU, producers consider the private costs of fuel and other materials, labour and capital, but not the external costs of pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions. Consumers consider the market price of electricity or transport costs, but again not the external costs of pollution. But the flow of greenhouse gases from each and every country adds to the global stock of these gases. In time, a...

Ross Garnaut

I congratulate the Social Justice Initiative for creating this collection which will help fill out what has been an underdeveloped area of Australian thinking about the climate change issue. I took about the same interest in climate change as the average literate citizen until mid-2007 when the Premiers and the then Leader of the Opposition asked me to conduct a review of the impact of climate change on Australia and of policies for Australia. Some of the old wisdom of economic policy analysis...

Climate Change and Intergenerational Equity

Human activity over the course of the 20th and early 21st centuries has led to a steady increase in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, from a preindustrial concentration of 280 parts per million ppm to a current concentration of 380 ppm. This change in the atmosphere has generated changes to the earth's climate that are already evident and will continue for decades, and perhaps centuries into the future. Processes taking place over periods of a century or...

The Tyranny of Vulnerability

Global climate change and its associated consequences are symptoms of a much larger phenomenon specifically, rapid globalisation and the rise of the 'knowledge economy'.13 The exponential growth in population over the past 150 years has fuelled profound changes in land use and the consumption of natural resources and capital generally.14 The magnitude of such changes in the Earth system have been so profound, that some have argued that we are now living in a new geologic era, the...

Series Editor Dr Jeremy Moss

The Social Justice SJS , issued by MUP in collaboration with Melbourne University's Social Justice Initiative, aims to contribute to public and scholarly debate by providing critical insights into contemporary issues concerning social justice. The series also aims to highlight the value of interdisciplinary approaches to problems of social justice. I MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY PRESS An imprint of Melbourne University Publishing Limited 187 Grattan Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia Text...