Global Justice and Climate Change conference to take place on 21st and 22nd September 2007

Climate change raises many ethical questions. What obligations do persons owe future generations? Can cost benefit analysis capture all the ethically significant impacts of climate change? How should we respond to risks and uncertainty? Who should bear the burdens of dealing with global climate change? How should the right to emit carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) be distributed? Is geo-engineering ethically defensible? Are some entitled to compensation or reparations?
These questions are examined at a conference on `Global Justice and Climate Change` taking place at the Centre for the Study of Social Justice (CSSJ) at the Department of Politics and International Relations. The conference brings together leading authorities on climate change from a variety of different disciplines (philosophy, politics, economics and climate science). Dr Dave Frame (ECI, Oxford) will begin the conference by providing an account of the most recent findings of climate scientists. Professor Henry Shue (Politics, Oxford) will then explore the nature of our obligations to future generations. Professor Simon Caney (Politics, Oxford) argues that climate change jeopardizes human rights and examines the extent to which it is permissible to discount the interests of future generations. These issues are further explored by Dr Benito Mueller (Oxford Institute of Energy Studies) who argues that a human rights approach is superior to cost benefit analysis and by Dr Simon Dietz (Geography and Environment, LSE) who will speak on ethics and the welfare economics of climate change. Dr Cameron Hepburn (Economics, Oxford) examines the public`s attitudes to risk and inequality. The first day will conclude with a talk by Dr Kevin Watkins (UNDP) who will speak about the relationship between climate change and human development. The second day begins with a talk on what is wrong with climate change by Professor Dale Jamieson (Philosophy, NYU). The key question of who should pay for the costs of combating climate change is then addressed by Dr Derek Bell (Politics, Newcastle). One issue that arises is whether it is always possible to compensate the victims of dangerous climate change. This issue is examined by Professor Avner de-Shalit (Politics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem) who focuses on the case of displaced persons. This is followed by a talk by Professor Richard Miller (Philosophy, Cornell) on `Economic Development in the Greenhouse: The Challenges of Equity and Empire`. The conference concludes with a talk by Professor Stephen Gardiner (Philosophy, Washington) on the ethical considerations surrounding geo-engineering.

The conference is organised by Professor Simon Caney and is funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Dissemination Award.

Simon Caney is Professor in Political Theory, University Lecturer, and Fellow and Tutor in Politics, Magdalen College

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