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Conceptualizations of justice in climate policy




Distributive justice in climate change has been of interest both to the ethics and to the climate policy communities, but the two have remained relatively isolated. By combining an applied ethics approach with a focus on the details of a wide range of proposed international climate policies, this article proposes two arguments. First, three categories of proposals are identified, each characterized by its assumptions about the nature of the 'problem' of climate change, the burdens that this problem imposes, and its application of distribution rules. Each category presents potential implications for distributive justice. The second, related, argument is that assumptions about technology, sovereignty, substitution and public perceptions of ethics shape the distributive justice outcomes of proposed policies even though these areas have largely been overlooked in discussions of the subject in either literature. The final lesson of this study is that the definition, measurement and distribution of burdens are all critical variables for distributive justice in climate policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonja Klinsky & Hadi Dowlatabadi, 2009. "Conceptualizations of justice in climate policy," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 88-108, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:tcpoxx:v:9:y:2009:i:1:p:88-108
    DOI: 10.3763/cpol.2008.0583b

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Schmidt & Mike Schäfer, 2015. "Constructions of climate justice in German, Indian and US media," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 535-549, December.
    2. Rob Dellink & Michel den Elzen & Harry Aiking & Emmy Bergsma & Frans Berkhout & Thijs Dekker & Joyeeta Gupta, 2009. "Sharing the Burden of Adaptation Financing: An Assessment of the Contributions of Countries," Working Papers 2009.59, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Benjamin T. Wood & Lindsay C. Stringer & Andrew J. Dougill & Claire H. Quinn, 2018. "Socially Just Triple-Wins? A Framework for Evaluating the Social Justice Implications of Climate Compatible Development," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(1), pages 1-20, January.
    4. Bénédicte Rulleau & Hélène Rey-Valette & Valérie Clément, 2017. "Impact of justice and solidarity variables on the acceptability of managed realignment," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 361-377, April.
    5. Joachim Schleich & Elisabeth Dütschke & Claudia Schwirplies & Andreas Ziegler, 2016. "Citizens' perceptions of justice in international climate policy: an empirical analysis," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 50-67, January.
    6. Bård Lahn, 2018. "In the light of equity and science: scientific expertise and climate justice after Paris," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 29-43, February.
    7. Douglas L. Bessette & Lauren A. Mayer & Bryan Cwik & Martin Vezér & Klaus Keller & Robert J. Lempert & Nancy Tuana, 2017. "Building a Values‐Informed Mental Model for New Orleans Climate Risk Management," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 37(10), pages 1993-2004, October.
    8. Astrid Molenveld & Arwin Buuren & Gerald-Jan Ellen, 0. "Governance of climate adaptation, which mode? An exploration of stakeholder viewpoints on how to organize adaptation," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-22.
    9. Nadine Gouzée & Alain Henry, 2009. "Working Paper 17-09 - Exploration de répartitions des objectifs et opportunités du paquet climat-énergie en Belgique [Working Paper 17-09 - Verkenning van verdelingen van de doelstellingen en de," Working Papers 0917, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    10. Manish Kumar Shrivastava & Saradindu Bhaduri, 2019. "Market-based mechanism and ‘climate justice’: reframing the debate for a way forward," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 497-513, October.
    11. Max Meulemann, 2017. "An Empirical Assessment Of Components Of Climate Architectures," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 8(04), pages 1-36, November.
    12. Schaffrin, André & Reibling, Nadine, 2015. "Household energy and climate mitigation policies: Investigating energy practices in the housing sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-10.
    13. Shan Zhou & Douglas S. Noonan, 2019. "Justice Implications of Clean Energy Policies and Programs in the United States: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(3), pages 1-20, February.
    14. Clément, Valérie & Rey-Valette, Hélène & Rulleau, Bénédicte, 2015. "Perceptions on equity and responsibility in coastal zone policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 284-291.
    15. Schleich, Joachim & Faure, Corinne, 2017. "Explaining citizens’ perceptions of international climate-policy relevance," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 62-71.
    16. Lau Øfjord Blaxekjær & Tobias Dan Nielsen, 2015. "Mapping the narrative positions of new political groups under the UNFCCC," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(6), pages 751-766, November.
    17. Laura Aileen Sauls, 2020. "Becoming fundable? Converting climate justice claims into climate finance in Mesoamerica’s forests," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 161(2), pages 307-325, July.
    18. Qianting Zhu & Wenwu Tang, 2017. "Regional-Level Carbon Allocation in China Based on Sectoral Emission Patterns under the Peak Commitment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-18, April.

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