Chapter 1 summarises our best knowledge about the predicted future of global warming and its potentially catastrophic implications for human habitats and human wellbeing. The policy options are summarised, divided between programmes to mitigate climate change and to adapt to it. But climate policy alone could be unjust and inequitable. The goal must be to respect biophysical boundaries while at the same time pursuing sustainable wellbeing: that is, wellbeing for all current peoples as well as for future generations. This means paying attention to its distribution between peoples, and to issues of equity and social justice. Between an upper boundary set by biophysical limits and a lower boundary set by decent levels of wellbeing for all today lies a safe and just space for humanity. The chapter concludes by noting two global landmarks in 2015: the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate agreement. Together they reveal a yawning gap between what is needed for a safe climate and the prospects for a just and flourishing society.
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Climate Change, Capitalism and Sustainable Wellbeing
Fostering Environmental Protection
The history of BTAs has been largely unexplored by the literature. Nevertheless, the historical analysis of traditional BTAs may contribute to a better understanding of BTAs’ main purpose and WTO legal limits to their adoption. This chapter discusses the historical development of BTAs against the background of the removal of tariffs, from Ricardo’s economic theory on free trade to more recent views expressed at the political level since the mid-20th century. This chapter first analyses BTAs’ economic foundations (Section 1). Second, the political history of BTAs is discussed (Section 2). Finally, this chapter offers an overview of BTAs’ main theoretical foundations (Section 3). Keywords: economic & political history; theoretical foundation; Ricardo; theory of comparative advantage; theory of absolute advantage
Jorge E. Viñuales and Emma Lees
A New Framework for Energy Regulation
Chapter 1 introduces the two concepts of environmental protection and energy security. It assesses the main potential environmental issues as well as the major possible energy security benefits that are associated with shale gas extraction. The chapter starts by explaining what shale gas is, how it can be extracted and which terminology the industry uses. The chapter (and, indeed, the book) focuses on shale gas extraction because shale gas has the biggest potential of all `unconventionals´ to become commercially viable in the middle to long-term in Europe.
Janet E. Milne
Edited by Anna Grear
Kirsten Davies, Sam Adelman, Anna Grear, Catherine Iorns Magallanes, Tom Kerns and S Ravi Rajan
The Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change responds to the profound crisis of human hierarchies now characterizing the climate crisis. The Declaration, initiated prior to the 2015 COP 21 meeting by scholars from the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE), is one of a convergence of initiatives reflecting the need to understand human rights as intrinsically threatened by climate change. This article introduces the Declaration, the necessity for it, its philosophical and legal background and its support by contemporary cases providing evidence of the escalating legal need for such a tool. A key aim of the Declaration is to trace out a potential normative approach for establishing responsibility towards the planet and redressing unevenly distributed vulnerabilities and climate injustices while recognizing that it is vital that respect for human rights should be understood as an indispensable element of any adequate approach to climate change. The Declaration strives to offer a compelling level of ethical appeal, as well as to be legally literate and philosophically rigorous. The drafting process engaged scholars and communities from across the world, prioritized indigenous involvement, and drew on indigenous ontologies and epistemologies. Newer philosophical approaches such as new materialist understandings of lively materiality also informed the drafting process. Accordingly, the language of the Declaration creates space for non-Western ways of seeing and being as well as responding to insights emerging from new scientific understandings of the world.