Philosophy and Public Affairs 40 (4):255-300 (2012)
AbstractThis paper examines what would be a fair distribution of the right to emit greenhouse gases. It distinguishes between views that treat the distribution of this right on its own (Isolationist Views) and those that treat it in conjunction with the distribution of other goods (Integrationist Views). The most widely held view treats adopts an Isolationist approach and holds that emission rights should be distributed equally. This paper provides a critique of this 'equal per capita' view, and the isolationist assumptions on which it depends. It examines four arguments for this view, finding each wanting. It then presents two general challenges to the 'equal per capita' view, and, indeed, any views which treat the distribution of greenhouse gas emissions in isolation from other goods. It concludes by outlining and defending an alternative (Integrationist) approach to the distribution of rights to emit greenhouse gases.
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