Who is responsible for the climate change problem?

This week, Dr Megan Blomfield delivered a talk at the prestigious Aristotelian Society, London. Megan’s talk addressed responsibility for the climate change problem.

Who is responsible for remedying the problem of climate change? One popular answer is given by the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP), according to which such responsibility falls to excessive emitters of greenhouse gases. The underlying rationale of the PPP appears to be that unjust contribution to a problem grounds a responsibility to remedy it; where, in this case, parties contribute by emitting, and those emissions are unjust in virtue of exceeding a fair share.

In this paper, Megan argues that there are other important means by which human agency makes an unjust contribution to the climate problem. This means that if one accepts the underlying rationale of the PPP, then one should abandon its restricted focus on polluters.

You can listen to a podcast of the talk here, and read the full paper, here