The topic: Carbon Majors and Corporate Responsibility for Climate Change
Much of the discussion of the responsibility for addressing climate change centres on the duties of states, and for good reason. But attention is increasingly turning to the contribution that corporations make to climate change and what this ought to mean for how we divide the burdens of responding to climate change. This is particularly the case for major fossil fuel producing corporations or ‘carbon majors’ (CMs) who contribute to climate change in two key ways: by directly producing the fossil fuels that create emissions and by influencing the climate related policies and actions that states and other actors adopt. This talk will consider the level of responsibility that CMs have for climate harms in light of these two types of contribution and argue that CMs have a significant degree of moral responsibility for the harms to which they contribute. The talk will also consider what the CMs ought to do about these harms.
Professor Jeremy Moss, Professor of Political Philosophy; Director, Practical Justice Initiative, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Professor Moss’s main research interests are in political philosophy and applied philosophy. Current research interests include projects on: climate justice, the ethics of renewable energy as well as the ethical issues associated with climate transitions. He is Director of the Practical Justice Initiative and leads the Climate Justice Research program at UNSW. Moss has published several books including: Climate Justice Beyond the State, (Routledge: 2021); Reassessing Egalitarianism, Climate Change and Social Justice, and Climate Change and Justice (Cambridge University Press). He is the recipient of the Eureka Prize for Ethics, the Australasia Association of Philosophy Media Prize. Recent publications include: ‘The Morality of Divestment’, Law and Policy, July 2017; ‘Mining and Morality’, Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol 51 No 3, 2016; Climate Justice and Non-State Actors, Eds, Jeremy Moss and Lachlan Umbers, (London: Routledge, 2020); ‘Justice and Climate Transitions’, Tasmanian Law Review, 37/2, 2018.
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