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The Ethical Responsibility to Reduce Energy Consumption

23 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2009 Last revised: 23 Jul 2015

John C. Dernbach

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Donald A. Brown

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Date Written: July 23, 2009

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.

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

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1464875 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1464875

John C. Dernbach (Contact Author)

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

Donald A. Brown

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

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