Climate Justice, between Global and International Justice: Insights from justification theory
Title: Climate Justice, between Global and International Justice: Insights from justification theory
Author: GODARD, Olivier
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2011/56; Global Governance Programme-11; [Global Economics]
External link: http://www.globalgovernanceprogramme.eu/
For 20 years, climate negotiations have faced the difficult task of designing an international regime accepted by the main parties as fair, equitable and efficient. Climate justice is called for from all sides, but there is no agreement as to what justice actually requires. The goal of this paper is to propose a critical overview of the intellectual landscape surrounding the concept of climate justice, and to clarify the challenges, positions, arguments and theoretical background of a concept that is dramatically exposed to the risk of being reduced to either naive moral calls, simple ideological slogans or political gesticulations from stakeholders and parties to negotiations. I will dispute the idea that moral intuition offers a sufficient basis to elicit the correct standard of justice. To begin with, I will underline the sharp contrasts between four rival intellectual constructs: utilitarianism, cosmopolitanism, international justice and the rejection of the relevance of the concept of justice in the context of international relations. In particular, cosmopolitan justice is shown to be inconsistent with and wholly inappropriate to the situation of climate negotiations. The second part of the paper develops an alternative analysis based on justification theory: the pluralism of justification is consubstantial with complex societies, but the criterion of the appropriateness of norms of justice to situations helps us to understand which norms of justice can be supported and which should be disregarded. In particular, the choice of a given coordination regime is shown to have huge implications for the appropriate norms of justice, taking the case of international carbon trading in a Kyoto Protocol-type regime as an example.
Subject: Climate justice; cooperation; justification; cosmopolitanism; emissions trading; D63; Q54; F02; F53s
The paper is an outcome of the research programme on climate economics developed at the Economics Laboratory under the supervision of Jean-Pierre Ponssard with the support of Chair Business Economics and Chair Sustainable Development of Ecole Polytechnique. It is based on an invited presentation given at the Executive Seminar on Climate Governance, organized by the Global Governance Programme of the European University Institute in Florence, 13-15 June 2011.
Type of Access: openAccess