Abstract and Keywords
Climate change is an ethical issue. Although justice is only one part of ethics, it is often understood to occupy an exalted position as ‘the first virtue of social institutions’, where this implies that unjust institutions ought not to be tolerated except to avoid greater injustice. Although some have doubted that justice deserves quite such preeminence, almost all agree that it is a central concern. This article presents a brief introduction to the emerging area of climate justice for an interdisciplinary audience. Its aim is to provide a preliminary sense of the broader landscape of climate justice. It considers the initial relevance of justice to climate affairs and discusses why climate policy poses a strong challenge for ethical action. Apart from discussing how justice might guide us in making progress from within the constraints of current institutions and their immediately likely successors, it also considers the implications of relaxing such constraints.
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