[18-09-2019] Climate duties, freedom and well-being

This event is one of the ongoing Philosophy Colloqia.

09/18/2019 | 3:30 PM

Date: September 18, 2019
Location: Room HG-12A-33
Time: 15.30-17.00
Speaker: Prof. Ingrid Robeyns (Utrecht University)

Abstract:

This paper starts from the premise that we all have individual climate duties, that is, duties not to  emit more than our fair share of net emissions, and then analyses the question what the implications are for our freedoms and quality of life. There is great resistance among part of the population in high-emitting countries to restrict our (net) emissions, since it is argued that this will constrain our freedoms and negatively impact our quality of life. I argue that while it is true that meeting our climate duties will restrict some of our freedoms, these restrictions are justified. The truth of the claim regarding the negative impact on our well-being depends on how one conceptualises that notion, yet to the extent that there is such a negative impact, it is also justified. The paper ends by discussing concerns of political and psychological feasibility related to those questions, and lays out implications for climate ethicists entering the public domain, as well as climate activists and policy makers. 

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