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Does Anthropogenic Climate Change Violate Human Rights?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Derek Bell



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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bell D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy

Year: 2011

Volume: 14

Issue: 2

Pages: 99-124

Print publication date: 16/03/2011

Date deposited: 07/10/2013

ISSN (print): 1369-8230

ISSN (electronic): 1743-8772

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/13698230.2011.529703


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