Distributive justice and sustainability as a viable foundation for the future climate regime

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Courtesy of Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH

Addressing climate change clearly is not an easy task, as it raises difficult questions on how to distribute the burden of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation efforts between different countries, and how to deal with scientific uncertainties faced in the process. Additionally, states are generally reluctant to enter into an international agreement that is not perceived as equitable and fair. An agreement will become more acceptable if it has a reasonably comprehensive ethical foundation. New generational international environmental law principles can help establish a common understanding of the threat of global warming, and provide a justification for action to cope with these challenges. The concepts of distributive justice and sustainability may be considered the main ideology underlying these principles, and they provide the required ethical background. In this new generational international environmental law principles, aspects of distributive justice and sustainability play a major role as unifying principles to facilitate collective action against global climate change. Given that nearly every country can agree on distributive justice and sustainability concepts, an international climate regime strongly rooted in these principles will likely be more viable.

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