Can dangerous climate change be avoided?

  • This article discusses obstacles to overcoming dangerous climate change. It employs an account of dangerous climate change that takes climate change and climate change policy as dangerous if it imposes avoidable costs of poverty prolongation. It then examines plausible accounts of the collective action problems that seem to explain the lack of ambition to mitigate. After criticizing the merits of two proposals to overcome these problems, it discusses the pledge and review process. It argues that pledge and review possesses the virtues of encouraging broad participation and of providing a procedural safeguard for the right of sustainable development. However, given the perceptions of the marginal short term costs of mitigation, pledge and review is unlikely, at least initially, to issue in an agreement to make deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Because there is no rival approach that seems likely to better instantiate the two virtues, pledge and review may be the best available policy for mitigation. Moreover, recent economic research suggests that the co-benefits of mitigation may be greater than previously assumed and that the costs of renewable energy may be less than previously calculated. This would radically undermine claims that the short term mitigation costs necessarily render mitigation irrational and produce collective action problems. Given the circumstances, pledge and review might be our best hope to avoid dangerous climate change.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Darrel MoellendorfORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Global justice : theory, practice, rhetoric
Publisher:The Global Justice Network
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2015
Year of first Publication:2015
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/07/01
Tag:Collective Action Problems; Dangerous Climate Change; Pledge and Review; The Right to Sustainable Development
Page Number:20
First Page:66
Last Page:85
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 34 Recht / 340 Recht
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht