Does Anthropogenic Climate Change Violate Human Rights?

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Author(s)Bell D
Publication type Article
JournalCritical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
ISSN (print)1369-8230
ISSN (electronic)1743-8772
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Early discussions of ‘climate justice’ have been dominated by economists rather than political philosophers. More recently, analytical liberal political philosophers have joined the debate. However, the philosophical discussion of climate justice remains in its early stages. This paper considers one promising approach based on human rights, which has been advocated recently by several theorists, including Simon Caney, Henry Shue and Tim Hayward. A basic argument supporting the claim that anthropogenic climate change violates human rights is presented. Four objections to this argument are examined: the ‘future persons’ objection; the ‘risk’ objection; the ‘collective causation’ objection; and the ‘demandingness’ objection. This critical examination leads to a more detailed specification and defence of the claim that anthropogenic climate change violates human rights.
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