Session `1/4: Professor John Broome, Climate Ethics Series TT 2020

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Update: this event is live! on the Oxford Climate Society YouTube Channel. Please follow the link to watch the stream: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOoksFYBCHqZWwVBU9qewZg


Join us for the first session in this series with Professor John Broome on 'Self-interest against climate change'!


This University of Oxford, Faculty of Philosophy series brings together some of the world’s leading experts in climate ethicsJohn Broome, Megan Blomfield, Henry Shue and Simon Caney — to showcase the latest and cutting edge work in the area.


​This series is intended to spark interest in questions relating to philosophy and climate change and unite people across the university interested in issues of climate change and the role of philosophy in furthering climate research, action and discussion. The first 45mins-hour will consist of a lecture and then the floor will be open to questions and discussion. No prerequisites or prior knowledge required.


Time: Wednesday 2-4pm, Weeks 4, 6, 8, 9, Trinity Term 2020

Location: This event is about to go live! It will be live-streamed on the Oxford Climate Society YouTube Channel. Please follow the link to watch the stream: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOoksFYBCHqZWwVBU9qewZg

Convener: Alice Evatt. Please contact alice.evatt@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for any queries

Further Details: Click here; Faculty Website



Series Schedule:

Session 1: Professor John Broome (Oxford) — 'Self-interest against climate change', Wed May 20 (Week 4), 2-4pm.

​Session 2: Dr. Megan Blomfield (Sheffield) — ‘Responsibility for Climate Change in an Unjust World’, Wed June 3 (Week 6), 2-4pm. Click here to register.

Session 3: Professor Henry Shue (Oxford) — 'Are There Second Chances in Climate Change? Carbon Dioxide Removal and Intergenerational Risk Transfer', Wed June 17 (Week 8), 2-4pm. Click here to register.

Session 4: Professor Simon Caney (Warwick) — 'Power, Political Responsibilities and Climate Change'
Wed June 24 (Week 9). Time TBA. Click here to register.



Professor John Broome -- Self-interest against climate change'

Abstract: For almost thirty years, the international effort to bring climate change under control has appealed ultimately to moral motives. We have been told we should make the small sacrifice of reducing our emissions of greenhouse gas for the sake of the much greater benefit it will bring to other people. In particular, the current generation should reduce its emissions for the sake of the future. But action against climate change must principally come from governments, and not all governments are susceptible to moral motivation. For this reason the effort is failing. We must try a different approach. Because greenhouse gas is what economists call an 'externality', it is possible in principle to respond to climate change in a way that is in everybody's interest. The great benefit that will result from controlling climate change can in principle be distributed across people and generations in such a way that no sacrifice is required from anyone. If this can be achieved in practice, we can harness the powerful motivation of self-interest to control climate change. But to make it possible in practice, we need a new economic institution, which might be called the World Climate Bank. International effort should be redirected towards creating this institution.


Photo credit: unsplash


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