Justice in climate engineering - towards a Rawlsian appropriation
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AbstractClimate Engineering as a technological solution to anthropogenic climate change has been on the table at least since 2006. Understandably, there has been considerable activity among ethicists in weighing the pros and cons of climate engineering. This research approaches the climate engineering ethical debate from the point of view justice. The lead question of this research is, can climate engineering be developed in a just manner? And the research question is answered from the perspectives of distributive justice, intergenerational justice and procedural justice. The concerns with distributive, intergenerational and procedural justice are evaluated against the theoretical framework of the notion of distributive, intergenerational and procedural justice in John Rawls. After exposing the serious challenges with climate engineering to be justified from the point of view of justice, the thesis highlights certain essential conditions that may render climate engineering justifiable from the point of view the Rawlsian distributive, procedural and intergenerational justice. A comprehensive review of the existing literature on the ethics of climate engineering in general and on distributive, intergenerational and procedural justice in particular is a component of this thesis. The thesis is developed in seven chapters. Following the introductory chapter, the second chapter deals with the science of climate engineering. The third chapter dealing with the arguments for and against climate engineering already coined in the existing literature creates the platform for advancing the debate from the perspective of justice. The fourth, fifth and sixth chapters deal respectively with the compatibility of climate engineering from the point of view of the Rawlsian distributive, intergenerational and distributive justice. The concluding chapter revisits the research question and suggests certain directions for future research. The study advances the debate on the ethics of climate engineering from the perspective of justice highlighting a number of unrecognized concerns and suggesting some fresh directions.