Lecture201202_What went wrong in Durban _Taebi

Category: Education

Presentation Description

Dr. Behnam Taebi (Professor, Values and Technology at TBM Faculty, TU Delft) will give a talk on the ethical and policy related challenges the world faces today on the 'Climate Change' Crisis. There will be a special emphasis on the latest developments with the Durban Climate Change Conference, with a view on the justice side of things.


Presentation Transcript

Justice in climate change :

Justice in climate change What went wrong in Durban Behnam Taebi, Department of Philosophy, TPM Energy Club, TU Delft, 8 February 2012

Organization of the talk :

Organization of the talk Main objective of Kyoto and its extension after 2012 The (current) role of justice in climate change Different approaches to social justice Corrective justice Procedural justice Distributive justice Five proposals for approaching justice in climate change And how different nations favor different proposals

IPCC reports:

IPCC reports “…there is new and stronger evidence that most of the observed warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.” (IPCC 2001a) “Natural, technical, and social sciences can provide essential information and evidence needed for decisions on what constitutes “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” At the same time, such decisions are value judgments determined through socio-political processes, taking into account considerations such as development , equity , and sustainability , as well as uncertainties and risk .” (IPCC 2001d, emphasis added)

Kyoto and greenhouse gas reduction:

Kyoto and greenhouse gas reduction GHG (particularly CO 2 ) lies at the heart of global warming Much effort to reduce the emission of these gases (mitigation) Kyoto Protocol aimed at reduction of GHG by 5% by 2012 By introducing a mechanism to appoint and trade emission rights Kyoto was ratified in 2005 and came into force in 2008 Recent conference in Durban in Dec 2011 was one step towards extending (and adjusting) Kyoto GHG leitmotif in discussions 1) How to reduce emissions (cap-and-trade) 2) How to distribute costs

Canada withdrew in Durban in 2011:

Canada withdrew in Durban in 2011 Canada was supposed to cut emissions by 6% by 2012 (compared to 1990 levels) Instead Canadian emission have risen by around a third. Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent "To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of ... the transfer of $14bn (£8.7bn) from Canadian taxpayers to other countries – the equivalent of $1,600 from every Canadian family – with no impact on emissions or the environment“

Relevance of justice in climate change:

Relevance of justice in climate change The causes and effects of climate change are dispersed, both in space and in time So, the anthropogenic effects of climate change have been mainly cause in the industrialized world, while consequences are more widely dispersed This become particularly troublesome because the non-industrialized countries are in a worse position to (independently) deal with climate change Hence, climate change gives rise to fundamental problems of justice, both spatially and temporally

Current role of justice in CC:

Current role of justice in CC Justice (or equity) is a core principle of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) “The Parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity” Article 3, Principle 1 So justice at two important levels Among the currently living people: spatial justice Between us and after us coming generations: temporal justice What justice exactly entails need further clarification and conceptualization

Solutions for dealing with climate change:

Solutions for dealing with climate change Mitigation Efforts to eliminate or reduce long-term risks and hazards Adaptation “Adjustment in natural and human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities” (IPCC 2007) Geoengineering I ntentional climate change

Justice in mitigation:

Justice in mitigation Existing debate on how to mitigate climate change? To what extent should each country contribute to mitigation? What is a fair share for emitting for each country? How to determine fairness in assigning emission rights? Per capita (number of people) You get as much as you have used in the past You get less in the future since you used more in the past

Justice in adaptation:

Justice in adaptation Who should pay the costs of adaptation? The wealthiest countries The countries that are dealing with the problem The countries that have contributed (or are contributing) to the problem What is a fair adaptation scheme? Benefiting the greatest number (efficiency) Benefiting the least well off Would it remove or exacerbate existing vulnerabilities?

Different approaches to social justice:

Different approaches to social justice Corrective justice Justice as eliminating/reducing inequality Procedural justice The procedure we follow determined justice Particularly important in international agreements Distributive justice at different levels International (discrepancies in national emission) Intergenerational justice Ecological justice

Procedural justice:

Procedural justice It is the procedure (instead of the outcome) that makes something just “democratic decision-making procedures as an element and condition of social justice” (Young 1990) Current focus on procedural justice in climate change At the level of (political) horse-trading between (powerful) nations Reciprocal cuts This is one reason for why current emission cutting schemes fail How to negotiate a fair agreement in a world with sharp inequalities of power and resources?

Distributive justice:

Distributive justice It is about a fair distribution of certain good effects (benefits) and bad effects (burdens) It focuses on three main elements The shape of justice: the desired pattern of benefits Equality, priority, sufficiency The currency of justice: what is the unit of benefit Resources, welfare, opportunity for welfare, capability, rights The scope of justice: to whom does it relate Humans , non-human animals, nature

Climate as the global common:

Climate as the global common Tragedy of the commons – (Hardin 1968) Boston commons for grazing livestock Prisoner’s dilemma (game theory): defecting rewards Silent agreement: let’s limit the number of cattle to spare commons It is in each individual (farmer’s) interest not to cooperate, while it is in common interest to do so Analogy with environmental pollution Analogy with climate change Both spatial and temporal

Atmosphere as global sink:

Atmosphere as global sink A though experiment Suppose the atmosphere is a gigantic sink held in common To which everybody in the world to add some pollution We must make sure that the sink won’t overflow So, everybody has a fair share to add pollution or to emit The Kyoto protocol is based on this principle How can we determine what is fair? Should we look back to see past pollutions? Should we allow the same pattern of pollution? Or come up with new pollution schemes?

Justice as equality :

Justice as equality A common understanding of justice However, two fundamentally different approaches to equality Assigning an equal right to everybody Proposal for per capita emission rights partly stem from this approach Helping the least well off to move towards the equal level John Rawls is one important defender of such approach: the greatest benefits for the least advantage (A Theory of Justice)

Five proposals :

Five proposals Proposals for assigning responsibility and emission allowances Equal per capita emission rights You broke it you fix it Future emissions Responsibility according to (cap)ability Justice defined as a moral threshold

1) Equal per capita emission rights:

1) Equal per capita emission rights Equal per capita Equal distribution across the world population Is equal distribution necessarily a just distribution? Current distributions show wide discrepancies Global per capita average in 2005 = 1.23 metric ton US = 5.32, UK = 2.47, China = 1.16, India = 0.35, Bangladesh = 0.08 A trading system of allocation rights might be necessary Compensating developing countries or buying the “right to plunder” (Gardiner 2004)

2) You broke it you fix it:

2) You broke it you fix it The Polluter Pays Principle Fair access to atmosphere’s capacity or Global Sink Atmosphere’s has a capacity to absorb GHG without severe effects Developing countries and upcoming economies favor this approach Objections: Past pollutants (since 1750) are dead Past polluters were ignorant Politically unfeasible

3) forward-looking: future emissions:

3) forward-looking: future emissions Which should look in the future to see who will be emitting more in order to assign responsibility for dealing with the climate change Industrialized countries favor this approach Especially US, Australia and Canada defend such approach If developing countries (particularly China and India) would not be bound to cut emission industrialized countries would fear unequal economic positions (the logic of market economy) This proposal completely neglects (moral) relevance of past emissions

4) Ability determines responsibility:

4) Ability determines responsibility This proposal is in accordance with Rawlsian approaches to equality as helping the least well off The industrialized countries who are in a better position to bear the burdens are (morally) required to do so We can’t expect the developing countries to do so This is further justified since anthropogenic climate change originates from these countries Objection: how to deal with the wealthy minorities in developing countries who are polluting as much A proposal to determine a “development threshold” below which people in a developing country won’t be eligible (Baer e.a. 2010)

5) Justice as a (moral) threshold:

5) Justice as a (moral) threshold Justice as sufficiency No human-being should be below a certain level of well-being Each individual has a right to emission necessary for survival These emission rights are refereed to as “subsistence emission” and are not tradable “luxury emissions” are tradable (Shue 1993) Determining human rights in climate change Certain rights should never be violated A right to physical security; ‘no harm’ for the future (Shue 1999) Human rights to “life”, “health” and “subsistence” (Caney 2010)

Justice and future generations:

Justice and future generations In these proposal we are mainly focusing on spatial justice Temporal (intergenerational) justice relevant in discussion Gardiner extend the tragedy of Commons to include future generations Purely in an economic analysis, it is in the interest of us (the present generation) not to deal with this problem while it is in the collective interest (of us and generations yet to come) to deal with the problem. The asymmetry of power We are in a (temporally) better position This makes us susceptible to “moral corruption”


Conclusion Understand the current discussion on international agreements for cutting greenhouse gases against the background of more fundamental discussion of justice Justice is at the hearth of climate change discussions Both procedural justice and distributive justice We need to find a fair scheme for allocating emission rights and deal with the adaptation costs One that goes beyond the political horse-trading between the powerful states

Thank you for your interest :

Thank you for your interest Questions and suggestions are welcome now or later by email [email protected] http://www.ethicsandtechnology.eu/people/108 Current courses on climate change at TU Delft Climate Ethics (WM0353TU) Climate Change: Science & Ethics (CIE4510) Climate change: multidisciplinary perspective (WM0333TU) Honours program