Climate Precaution and Producer versus Consumer Dependence on Fossil Fuels

Ethics, Policy and Environment (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This article explores the consequences of falling costs of solar and wind power for the ethics of climate change mitigation. We suggest that price competitiveness of renewables reveals a divergence of interest between fossil fuel consumers and producers: cheap renewables strengthen precautionary arguments for aggressive mitigation for consumers but threaten the economic base of producers. As existing applications of the precautionary principle to climate change do not address this issue, we develop a novel approach based on lexical utilities. Given the premise that climate catastrophe entails economic catastrophe but not vice versa, we argue that both producers and consumers should favor mitigation.

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Climate change and the duties of the advantaged.Simon Caney - 2010 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 13 (1):203-228.
A core precautionary principle.Stephen M. Gardiner - 2006 - Journal of Political Philosophy 14 (1):33–60.

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