The Theoretical Foundations of Intergenerational Ecological Justice: An Overview
Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 34, pp. 251-256, 2012
17 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2012
Date Written: March 2012
While few would deny that present generations have a moral obligation to preserve the environment for future generations, some theorists reject the existence of a legal duty in this regard. This article takes the opposite view. It argues that ample juridical as well as ethical social justice theory - contractarian distributive and reciprocity-based theories prominent among them - establishes that future generations have a legal right to a clean and healthy environment. But most helpful in ensuring intergenerational ecological justice, the author contends, is a respect-based theory of social justice which at its core honors the values that underwrite human rights law and policy inclusively conceived and embraced.
Keywords: future generations, ecological justice, social justice
JEL Classification: K10, K19, K32, K33, N50, Q20, Q30,
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