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The Ethical Responsibility to Reduce Energy Consumption


John C. Dernbach


Widener University - School of Law

Donald A. Brown


Widener University - School of Law

July 23, 2009

Hofstra Law Review, Vol. 37, p. 985, 2009
Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-18

Abstract:     
This Article argues that developed countries have an ethical responsibility to reduce energy consumption - through energy efficiency and conservation - as part of the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While this responsibility is borne by nations themselves, it has consequences for the individuals living in those nations. This Article also argues that developing countries have different duties concerning energy consumption. Their responsibility to improve human quality of life will mean greater use of modern energy, especially when it is not now available. At the same time, developing countries should use energy efficiency and conservation when it is cost effective to do so.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, equity, ethics, energy efficiency, energy conservation, common but differentiated responsibilities, sustainable development

JEL Classification: K32, K33, Q01

working papers series


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Date posted: August 31, 2009 ; Last revised: April 12, 2013

Suggested Citation

Dernbach, John C. and Brown, Donald A., The Ethical Responsibility to Reduce Energy Consumption (July 23, 2009). Hofstra Law Review, Vol. 37, p. 985, 2009; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-18. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1464875 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1464875

Contact Information

John C. Dernbach (Contact Author)
Widener University - School of Law ( email )
3800 Vartan Way
P.O. Box 69382
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9382
United States
717-541-1933 (Phone)
Donald A. Brown
Widener University - School of Law ( email )
4601 Concord Pike
P.O. Box 7286
Wilmington, DE 19803-0474
United States
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