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  • Cited by 9
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Blomfield, Megan 2016. Historical Use of the Climate Sink. Res Publica, Vol. 22, Issue. 1, p. 67.

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    Granqvist, Harry and Grover, David 2016. Distributive fairness in paying for clean energy infrastructure. Ecological Economics, Vol. 126, p. 87.

    Hjorthen, Fredrik D. and Duus-Otterström, Göran 2016. Humanitarian intervention and historical responsibility. Journal of Global Ethics, Vol. 12, Issue. 2, p. 187.

    Page, Ed 2016. Qui bono? Justice in the Distribution of the Benefits and Burdens of Avoided Deforestation. Res Publica, Vol. 22, Issue. 1, p. 83.

    Schuppert, Fabian 2016. Carbon Sink Conservation and Global Justice: Benefitting, Free Riding and Non-compliance. Res Publica, Vol. 22, Issue. 1, p. 99.

    Wündisch, Joachim 2016. Does excusable ignorance absolve of liability for costs?. Philosophical Studies,

    Lawford-Smith, Holly 2015. What ‘We’?. Journal of Social Ontology, Vol. 1, Issue. 2,

    Duus-Otterström, Göran 2014. The problem of past emissions and intergenerational debts. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 17, Issue. 4, p. 448.


Give it up for climate change: a defence of the beneficiary pays principle

  • Edward A. Page (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 15 June 2012

This article focuses on the normative problem of establishing how the burdens associated with implementing policies designed to prevent, or manage, climate change should be shared amongst states involved in ongoing international climate change negotiations. This problem has three key features: identifying the nature and extent of the burdens that need to be borne; identifying the type of agent that should be allocated these burdens; and distributing amongst the particular ‘tokens’ of the relevant ‘agent type’ climatic burdens according to principles that none could reasonably reject. The article defends a key role in climatic burden-sharing policy for the principle that states benefiting most from activities that cause climate change should bear the greatest burden in terms of the costs of preventing dangerous climate change. I outline two versions of this ‘beneficiary pays’ principle; examine the strengths and weakness of each version; and explore how the most plausible version (which I call the ‘unjust enrichment’ principle) could be operationalized in the context of global climate governance.

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Simon Caney 2010. “Climate Change and the Duties of the Advantaged.” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 13(1):203228.

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David Miller . 2001. “Distributing Responsibilities.” The Journal of Political Philosophy 9(4):453471.

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Edward A. Page 2006. Climate Change, Justice and Future Generations. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Edward A. Page 2008. “Distributing the Burdens of Climate Change.” Environmental Politics 17(4):556575.

Edward A. Page 2011. “Climatic Justice and Atmospheric Burdens.” The Monist 94(3):412432.

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Henry Shue . 1993. “Subsistence Emissions and Luxury Emissions.” Law & Policy 15(1):3959.

Henry Shue 1999. “Global Environment and International Inequality.” International Affairs 75(3):531545.

Richard Starkey . 2011. “Assessing Common(s) Arguments for an Equal per Capita Allocation.” The Geographical Journal 177(2):112126.

Simon Caney 2009. ‘Justice and distribution of greenhouse gas emissions.’ Journal of Global Ethics 5(2):125146.

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International Theory
  • ISSN: 1752-9719
  • EISSN: 1752-9727
  • URL: /core/journals/international-theory
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