A Research Agenda for Climate Justice
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A Research Agenda for Climate Justice

Edited by Paul G. Harris

Climate change will bring great suffering to communities, individuals and ecosystems. Those least responsible for the problem will suffer the most. Justice demands urgent action to reverse its causes and impacts. In this provocative new book, Paul G. Harris brings together a collection of original essays to explore alternative, innovative approaches to understanding and implementing climate justice in the future. Through investigations informed by philosophy, politics, sociology, law and economics, this Research Agenda reveals how climate change is a matter of justice and makes concrete proposals for more effective mitigation.
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Chapter 7: A cosmopolitan agenda for climate justice: embracing non-state actors

Alix Dietzel and Paul G. Harris


Looking at climate change from a cosmopolitan perspective can help us to fully comprehend the practical and normative complexities of the problem. A cosmopolitan agenda for climate justice moves beyond considering what states can and should do to focus more attention on the role of individuals and other non-state actors. There has been an explosion in the number of non-state actors involved in the climate change response, and billions of individuals are capable of action. The post-Paris Agreement climate regime treats these actors as a key part of an effective policy response. A cosmopolitan viewpoint discerns non-state actors’ responsibilities in efforts to mitigate climate change, adapt to its impacts and aid those who do and will suffer from it. A cosmopolitan agenda for climate justice critiques states as exclusive holders of climate-related responsibility and vehicles for climate justice. Individuals and other non-state actors are also responsible and able to contribute to realizing climate justice.

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