New Book:World Ethics and Climate Change

Title: World Ethics and Climate Change: From International to Global Justice
Author: Paul G. Harris
Publication Date: Nov 2009
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Length: 224 pages
Series: Edinburgh Studies in World Ethics

Summary: More than two decades of international negotiations have failed to stem emissions of greenhouse gases that are causing global warming and climate change. This book identifies a way to escape this ongoing tragedy of the atmospheric commons. It takes a fresh approach to the ethics and practice of international environmental justice and proposes fundamental adjustments to the climate change regime, in the process drawing support from cosmopolitan ethics and global conceptions of justice. The author argues for ‘cosmopolitan diplomacy’, which sees people, rather than states alone, as the causes of climate change and the bearers of related rights, duties and obligations.

Key Features:
–Describes the role of ethics and justice in world affairs and demonstrates that climate change is a matter of extreme injustice.
–Summarizes and critiques the flawed doctrine of international (interstate) justice upon which governments have premised climate change agreements and policies.
–Examines the practical and ethical significance for climate change of growing numbers of new consumers in the developing world.
–Proposes a cosmopolitan approach to climate change that is more principled, more practical and more politically viable than current international policies.
–For lecturers and students, a companion World Ethics and Climate Change learning guide is freely downloadable from
–All of the author’s royalties are directly paid to OXFAM in support of the world’s poor, who are most harmed by – and least responsible for – climate change.

Contents: Preface; Introduction; Part I: The Challenge; 1. Global Climate Change; 2. Justice in a Changing World; Part II: International Justice; 3. International Environmental Justice; 4. International Justice and Climate Change; Part III: Global Justice; 5. Cosmopolitan Ethics and Justice; 6. Affluence, Consumption and Atmospheric Pollution; 7. Cosmopolitan Diplomacy and Climate Policy; 8. The Unavoidability of Global Justice; References; Index.

Early Review: “Paul Harris argues that affluent people everywhere are, by their contributions to climate change, violating the rights of the poor. He makes a powerful case for focusing on individual rights and responsibilities in the framework of a new world ethic. I hope this book will be widely read, and acted upon.” Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University

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Inspection Copies: Inspection copies are made available to teaching staff and are sent at the discretion of Edinburgh University Press. Only paperback editions of our course books are available for inspection. A maximum of 3 books are available per year. North American customers: please contact the relevant co-publisher or distributor for your area. Details can be found on the Book Home page:

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