An ethical response to climate change

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Publication details

Lamberton, GW 2011, 'An ethical response to climate change', Journal of Business Systems, Governance and Ethics, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 12-26.

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This paper examines the ethical question of the responsibility of business organisations to respond to climate change. Ethical principles of ‘polluter pays‘, ‘historic culpability’ and ‘equitable distribution of the carbon budget’ are applied to the question of ‘should business respond to climate change’, using rights and utilitarian ethical analyses. An ethical argument is established for business organisations to decarbonise their production and distribution systems rather than delay action. Government policies required to remove barriers which are delaying a widespread and meaningful response by business to humankind’s greatest moral challenge together with the ethical implications are discussed.

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