Energy Efficiency and Conservation as Ethical Responsibilities: Suggestions for IPCC Working Group III
John C. Dernbach
Widener University - School of Law
December 14, 2007
This paper provides a brief assessment of the ethical issues raised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Working Group III report, Mitigation of Climate Change. It argues that energy efficiency and conservation are not simply two more options that can be employed to address climate change; they are the most equitable and sustainable options. The other major options available to address climate change are direct reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, long-term storage of carbon, and adaptation. The paper argues that Working Group III should issue a special report in the near future assessing the potential of energy efficiency and conservation to contribute to stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions in the next ten years. It also argues that Working Group III should directly address developed country leadership in future reports, especially on per capita energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group III, Mitigation of Climate Change, climate change, equity, ethics, energy efficiency, energy conservation, common but differentiated responsibilities, sustainable development
JEL Classification: K32, K33
Date posted: February 6, 2008
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