The Duty to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Limits of Permissible Procreation

Essays in Philosophy 20 (1):42-65 (2019)
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Abstract

Many environmental philosophers have argued that there is an obligation for individuals to reduce their individual carbon footprints. However, few of them have addressed whether this obligation would entail a corresponding duty to limit one’s family size. In this paper, I examine several reasons that one might view procreative acts as an exception to a more general duty to reduce one’s individual greenhouse gas emissions. I conclude that none of these reasons are convincing. Thus, if there is an obligation to reduce one’s unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions, then people should also limit the size of their families when they have the means to do so.

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Trevor Hedberg
University of Arizona

Citations of this work

Procreation is Immoral on Environmental Grounds.Chad Vance - 2024 - The Journal of Ethics 28 (1):101-124.

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References found in this work

Preferring a Genetically-Related Child.Tina Rulli - 2016 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (6):669-698.
Climate Change and Individual Duties to Reduce GHG Emissions.Christian Baatz - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):1-19.
Preferring a Genetically-Related Child.Tina Rulli - 2016 - New Content is Available for Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (6):669-698.
A Duty to Adopt?Daniel Friedrich - 2013 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (1):25-39.

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