Climate Adaptation and Theories of Justice
Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie (2016, Forthcoming)
24 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2015 Last revised: 25 Jan 2016
Date Written: November 1, 2015
In this essay, prepared in connection with an international symposium on philosophy, law, and environmental crisis, I argue that theories of justice can facilitate the impassioned and critically important national and international debates about what constitutes climate adaptation injustice and, where such injustice is identified, clarify debates about who is responsible for providing adaptation assistance. I identify the ways in which domestic and international climate vulnerability is a reflection of underlying socioeconomic vulnerability and provide a brief sketch of the types of adaptation policies at issue. I then analyze variants of corrective and distributive justice and their implications for adaptation policy, both internationally and domestically, and note the importance of participatory engagement. I conclude by arguing that distributive injustice – the facts on the ground – should be the starting point for determining entitlement to assistance, and that theories of corrective justice (through the polluter pays principle) and distributive justice (through the ability to pay principle) shape responsibility for providing that assistance.
Keywords: climate change, adaptation, environmental justice, climate justice, corrective justice, distributive justice
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation