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Environmental Values

Global Partnership, Climate Change and Complex Equality

Finn Arler

Environmental Values 10(2001): 301-329. doi: 10.3197/096327101129340859

The prospect of climate change due to human activities has put the question of inter- and intragenerational justice or equity in matters of common concern on the global agenda. This article will focus on the question of intragenerational justice in relation to these issues. This involves three basic questions. Firstly, the question of which distributive criteria may be relevant in the distribution of the goods and bads related to the increasing greenhouse effect. A series of criteria are discussed in relation to different understandings of the problem. The second question is which kind of relationship the global partnership is or should be considered to be in issues of common concern. It is argued that various understandings of the global partnership can be expected to result in the use of different criteria. This diversity leads us to the third question concerning the possibility of identifying an overall social ideal which can be used in cases where several different criteria may be useful. I shall discuss one such ideal in particular, namely the ideal of complex equality. In the concluding remarks it is argued that a distribution of emission quotas to countries in accordance with population size is a reasonable starting point for an equitable solution, although it involves various problems of application.


KEYWORDS: Climate change, greenhouse effect, equity, justice, global partnership, common concerns, distributive criteria, social ideals, complex equality

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles:

Territorial Equity and Sustainable Development. Bertrand Zuindeau

Disagreement and Responses to Climate Change Graham Long


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