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Title: Confronting climate crisis : a framework for understanding the criteria for addressing dangerous climate change
Author: Makoff, Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 7739
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2011
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Despite wide acknowledgement of the threats from human-induced climate change to human societies and the wider ecosystem, no comprehensive long-term global agreement to tackle the problem has yet been reached to replace the Kyoto Protocol. In arguing for a replacement, evaluative claims are often made that certain policy proposals are more environmentally effective, equitable or efficient than others. However, these three dominant criteria are subject to a range of interpretations, and can come into conflict with one another. This limits their use for guiding policy. Philosophy can and should play a role in scrutinising alternative conceptions, their justifications and assumptions, and help develop justifiable formulations of the criteria. Existing philosophical contributions have focused on aspects of the equity criterion, but have largely overlooked the other two criteria and have not considered how they should be prioritised overall. This thesis, for the first time, considers and proposes an ordering of these three criteria (focusing on mitigation), drawing on a Green Economic conceptual framework. This places ecological effectiveness first, defining the ecological limits of economic greenhouse gas-emitting activity; equity is then applied second, to define equitable resource sharing of the emissions space; and efficiency last, to imply genuinely efficient use of emissions space in contributing to equitable human well-being. The thesis then examines in detail how each criterion should be interpreted within this context, so that they are mutually consistent. As well as offering a set of ordered evaluative criteria for a climate change mitigation agreement, it aims to highlight the role of the conventional political-economic framework in climate policy debates and draw out the hidden conceptual and ethical assumptions it imports. This thesis also, therefore, aims to further the development of Green Economic thinking and show its relevance to the current substantial threat of dangerous anthropogenic climate change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available