2020-04-07Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/21692
The Unfair Burdens Argument Against Carbon Pricing
Carbon pricing is one of the most politically important approaches for the mitigation of climate change in the world today. Most political actors who are not committed to climate change denial favor carbon pricing, either as emissions trading or carbon taxation. In this article, I argue that carbon pricing should be considered unfair in most of its forms. I present a line of criticism called the Unfair Burdens Argument . It states that the most politically relevant ways to price carbon needlessly burden the less affluent more than the more affluent. This is unfair because, among other things, the more affluent have on average done more to create the problem of climate change in the first place. Principles for the fair distribution of burdens under climate change mitigation like the Polluter Pays Principle, which were thought to support carbon pricing, turn out to speak against it, when interpreted properly. Although the Unfair Burdens Argument on its own cannot show that carbon pricing is impermissible, it offers important clues for what a morally permissible form of climate change mitigation would look like.
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