Environmental Ethics

Volume 44, Issue 1, Spring 2022

ISEE 2020 Special Issue

Blake FrancisOrcid-ID
Pages 5-24

Climate Change Injustice

Many climate change ethicists argue wealthy nations have duties of justice to combat climate change. However, Posner and Weisbach disagree because there is a poor fit between the principles of justice and the problem of climate change. I argue in this paper that Posner and Weisbach’s argument relies on what Judith Shklar calls “the normal model of justice,” the view that injustice results when principles are violated. Applying Shklar’s critique of normal justice, I argue that Posner and Weisbach’s argument limits injustice to include complaints that match rules and principles, shielding the unjust from responsibility and assuming falsely that judgments about injustice can be made from a singular perspective. Drawing on Shklar, this paper develops an account of climate change as a complement to mainstream climate ethicists. On this account, injustice results from indifference and the voices of those impacted by climate change and climate change policy have priority.