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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Professor Thom Brooks

Brooks, Thom (2015). Climate Change Justice through Taxation? Climatic Change forthcoming.

Author(s) from Durham


How best to improve climate mitigation measures while we wait for an international consensus on climate policy? This is a practical problem raising important normative issues. The problem is the urgent need for better climate mitigation measures that is time-sensitive: conditions can only deteriorate over time rendering the problem and the relevant stakes even more pressing. The normative issues raised include whether a second-best solution is compelling given these non-ideal conditions and what form such a solution ought to take. This article responds to issues raised in Rolf H. Weber’s insightful piece in this special issue, such as the balancing of mitigation policies and securing market competitiveness leading to Weber’s defence of border tax adjustment. This article critically examines Weber’s position on competitiveness and its connection to border tax adjustment as a second-best option from a justice-based perspective. It is argued that strategies based around taxation—such as the Global Resources Dividend, the polluter pays principle and border tax adjustment—are problematic and unconvincing alternatives.