Publication details for Professor Thom BrooksBrooks, Thom (2012). Climate Change and Negative Duties. Politics 32(1): 1-9.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0263-3957, 1467-9256
- DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9256.2011.01419.x
- Keywords: climate change, environment, global justice, harm, negative duties, positive duties
- Further publication details on publisher web site
Author(s) from Durham
Climate change and its harmful effects are widely accepted. A common approach is to argue along the lines of Mill's ‘harm principle’: if we contribute to climate change, then we are likewise responsible for harming others and we have a negative duty to reduce our carbon emissions. This article argues that a negative duty leads to a philosophical fork in the road which does not necessarily entail carbon emissions reductions. Arguments for such reductions require further supplementation to close off possible non-conservationist alternatives.