Corporations' duties in a changing climate

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Abstract

Moral and political philosophers have had a lot to say about states’ climate-related duties. But the urgency of the situation calls upon us to investigate other, less obvious, duty-bearers. This chapter focuses on the most-salient duty-bearer: large for-profit corporations. These entities have largely been overlooked in philosophical discussions of climate-related duties. The chapter gives a positive case for weighty and demanding duties for corporations, to cut back their present and planned emissions and to offset their past emissions. These duties are grounded in (at least) three facts about corporations: corporations are capable of doing something significant about climate change (that is, the difference-making problem does not arise for them), corporations benefit from climate injustice, and corporations are culpable causers of climate change. The chapter gives an account of who corporations’ members are and how their duties are structured. In heavily-emitting corporations, members prominently include managers, shareholders, and rank-and-file employees.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate Justice and Non-State Actors
Subtitle of host publicationCorporations, Regions, Cities, and Individuals
EditorsJeremy Moss, Lachlan Umbers
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter5
Number of pages16
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9780429351877
ISBN (Print)9780367368906, 9780367368920
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Environmental Ethics
PublisherRoutledge

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