What Climate Policy Can a Utilitarian Justify?

Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (2):377-392 (2013)
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This essay sketches out what a utilitarian should support when considering global warming along with what measures can be recommended to political leaders for utilitarian reasons. If we estimate the utility of the great advantages that any ambitious climate policy might create in the name of poverty reduction in the present, I will show how a decision can be made in favor of a vigorous climate policy based on such estimates. My argument is independent of the truth of the claims of climate sceptics. Until now, the debate has neglected the double effects of a vigorous climate policy that not only avoids risks of damages but also creates utility. In conclusion, three strategies of a climate policy legitimized by utilitarianism will be introduced: (1) Utilitarianism favors global emissions trading in comparison with a global CO2 tax. (2) Utilitarianism calls for this trade to be introduced while, at the same time, investments in renewable energies should be increased. (3) Furthermore, utilitarianism favors a policy that aims to slow down the rate of population growth



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Carbon pricing ethics.Kian Mintz-Woo - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (1):e12803.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Susan J. Armstrong & Richard George Botzler.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Philosophy 56 (216):267-268.
One world: the ethics of globalization.Peter Singer - 2002 - New Haven: Yale University Press.

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