A Just Response to Climate Change: Personal Carbon Allowances and the Normal-Functioning Approach

TitleA Just Response to Climate Change: Personal Carbon Allowances and the Normal-Functioning Approach
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHyams, K
JournalJournal of Social Philosophy
Volume40
Issue2
Pagination237-256
Type of ArticleJournal Article
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number00472786
KeywordsENGINEERING , ENVIRONMENTAL ethics , Public Policy , SCIENCE
AbstractOne of the normative aspects of climate change that has received relatively little attention from philosophers is the proposal that states reduce their greenhousegas emissions by issuing ‘personal carbon allowances’ (PCAs) – also sometimes called ‘domestic tradable quotas’ (DTQs), or ‘tradable energy quotas’ (TEQs)– to each of their citizens. According to this proposal, citizens would be required to surrender PCAs in order to engage in various greenhousegas emitting activities. The number of PCAs issued each year would decline, so as to ensure a year on year reduction in national greenhousegas emissions. One version of the proposal holds that a supranational system of PCAs could provide a global solution to climate change, with everyone on the planet receiving PCAs equivalent to a per capita share of global emissions. Whilst a supranational system of PCAs could provide a global solution to climate change, it would be extremely difficult to implement a supranational system of PCAs, and unrealistic to expect global leaders to sign up to such a system.Whilst PCAs could in theory be used by all countries to regulate their national emissions, the focus of the present paper will be on the fair implementation of a scheme of PCAs in the developed world, and most of the examples will be drawn from the developed world context. This is for two principal reasons. First, because developed countries already have in place most of the political, social and economic institutions necessary for the effective functioning of a system of PCAs. Second, because the countries that are committed by the Kyoto Protocol to making significant shortterm cuts in their national greenhousegas emissions – the socalled ‘Annex One countries’ – are all developed countries.
NotesCover Date: Summer 2009.Source Info: 40(2), 237-256. Language: English. Journal Announcement: 43-3. Subject: CLIMATE CHANGE; POLICY; POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY; RATIONING; STATE. Update Code: 20110221.
URLhttp://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/politics/recent_articles/pdfs/hyams.pdf
Short TitleA Just Response to Climate Change: Personal Carbon Allowances and the Normal-Functioning Approach
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