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Environmental Values

The Possibility of a Joint Communiqué: My Response to Hourdequin

Baylor Johnson

Environmental Values 20 (2011): 147-156. doi: 10.3197/096327111X12997574391580


This article is a response to Marion Hourdequin, 'Climate, Collective Action and Individual Ethical Obligations', Environmental Values 19 (2010): 443-464. As Hourdequin argues, we have an obligation to reduce our individual emissions of greenhouse gases. This obligation is not, however, to reduce to the level that would be sustainable if everyone else did likewise. We are obligated to make limited reductions in the service of our primary obligation to organise and embrace collective schemes to ensure that everyone reduces emissions and that benefits to the environment are proportionate to the sacrifices made. She and I can agree on the existence of an obligation if she recognises that there is a fundamental difference between the obligations we have to avoid individually harmful actions and our obligations in a tragedy of the commons.


Ethics, tragedy of the commons, climate change, obligations, collective action, virtue, greenhouse gases

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Climate, Collective Action and Individual Ethical Obligations. Marion Hourdequin

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Climate Change and Individual Responsibility: A Reply to Johnson Marion Hourdequin
Bystanding and Climate Change. Carol Booth
Environmental Stewardship, Moral Psychology and Gardens. Marcello di Paola

Radically Non-Ideal Climate Politics and the Obligation to at Least Vote Green. Aaron Maltais

Addressing Needs in the Search for Sustainable Development: A Proposal for Needs-Based Scenario Building. Catherine Jolibert, Jouni Paavola and Felix Rauschmeyer

Game Theory and the Self-Fulfilling Climate Tragedy. Matthew Kopec

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