Moral Responsibility for Addressing Climate Change

Authored by: Madison Powers

The Routledge Companion to Bioethics

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415896665
eBook ISBN: 9780203804971
Adobe ISBN: 9781136644849


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The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC 1992) grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio. The agreement (hereafter, the Convention) became the internationally recognized basis for creating legally binding treaty obligations that were to be developed in subsequent rounds of negotiations, thus far unsuccessful. However, the Convention is more than a legal document of interest only to international lawyers and diplomats. It is an explicitly moral framework designed as a guide for assignment of responsibility for addressing global warming under a comprehensive treaty agreement that would bind an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations. Two of the Convention’s key elements have provoked the most discussion and they are the focus of this chapter.

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