World ethics and climate change: From international to global justice

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


More than two decades of international negotiations have failed to stem emissions of greenhouse gases that are causing global warming and climate change. In this lecture, Paul G. Harris identifies a possible way to escape this ongoing tragedy of the atmospheric commons. He tries to take a fresh approach to the ethics and practice of international environmental justice. He proposes fundamental adjustments to the climate change regime, in the process taking support from cosmopolitan ethics and global conceptions of justice. Drawing on one chapter of his new book, World Ethics and Climate Change (Edinburgh University Press), Professor Harris argues for viewing people, rather than states alone, as the causes of climate change and the bearers of related rights, duties and obligations. Copyright © 2010 The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010


climate change
moral philosophy
global change
university teacher


Harris, P. (2010, May). World ethics and climate change: From international to global justice. Paper presented at the Chair Professors: Public Lecture Series, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


  • Climatic changes
  • Environmental responsibility