Ethics, equity and the economics of climate change

Ethics, equity and the economics of climate change / Nicholas Stern, Economics and Philosophy, Vol. 30, n° 3, novembre 2014

This paper examines a broad range of ethical perspectives and principles relevant to the analysis of issues raised by the science of climate change and explores their implications. A second and companion paper extends this analysis to the contribution of ethics, economics and politics in understanding policy towards climate change. These tasks must start with the science which tells us that this is a problem of risk management on an immense scale. Risks on this scale take us far outside the familiar policy questions and standard, largely marginal, techniques commonly used by economists; this is a subject that requires the full breadth and depth of what economics has to offer and a much more thoughtful view of ethics than economists usually bring to bear. Different philosophical approaches bring different perspectives on understanding and policy, yet they generally point to the case for strong action to manage climate change (Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014)

Both intertemporal and intratemporal equity are central to the examination of policy towards climate change. However, many discussions of intertemporal issues have been marred by serious analytical errors, particularly in applying standard approaches to discounting; the errors arise, in part, from paying insufficient attention to the magnitude of potential damages, and in part from overlooking problems with market information. Some of the philosophical concepts and principles of Paper 1 are applied to the analytics and ethics of pure-time discounting and infinite-horizon models, providing helpful insights into orderings of welfare streams and obligations towards future generations. Such principles give little support for the idea of discrimination by date of birth. Intratemporal issues are central to problematic and slow-moving international discussions and are the second focus of this paper. A way forward is to cast the policy issues and analyses in a way that keeps equity issues central and embeds them in the challenge of fostering the dynamic transition to the low-carbon economy in both developed and developing countries. This avoids the trap of seeing issues primarily in terms of burden-sharing and zero-sum games – that leads to inaction and the most inequitable outcome of all (Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014)

 



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Danièle Revel (2014, 18 novembre). Ethics, equity and the economics of climate change. Veille énergie climat. Consulté le 12 avril 2024, à l’adresse https://energieclimat.hypotheses.org/23233

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