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Differentiating responsibilities for climate change adaptation


Wallimann-Helmer, Ivo (2016). Differentiating responsibilities for climate change adaptation. Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie. Beiheft, 149:119-132.

Abstract

In the Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF), the parties to the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed “that adaptation is a challenge faced by all Parties, and that enhanced action and international cooperation is urgently required to enable and support the implementation of adaptation actions aimed at reducing vulnerability and building resilience in developing country Parties […].” Furthermore, the conference of the parties (COP) requests the developed countries to provide developing countries with additional finance, technology, and capacity-building. This paper argues that this decision tends to oversimplify matters because it seems to differentiate responsibilities for climate change adaptation according to differences in the contribution to anthropogenic climate change only. However, the differentiation of responsibilities for climate change adaptation is more complex than it first appears to be.
To show why the differentiation of responsibilities for climate change adaptation is more complex, this paper analyzes the aspects of responsibility as a fourfold concept. Someone (i. the subject of responsibility) is always responsible for something (ii. the object of responsibility), answerable to some institution (iii.), and held accountable to a norm (iv.). The paper argues, first, that the appropriate object of responsibility in climate change adaptation is the burdens to be shared for effective and efficient adaptation. Second, for such adaptation to occur, however, subjects of responsibility should not only be developed countries. If appropriate competence and decision-structures are given in developing countries, these countries should also be deemed responsible for their own adaptation. Third, the paper shows that those vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change should decide on their own what adaptation measures they wish to take. Fourth, the argument of this paper suggests that ability-to-pay principles are the most appropriate norms by which to blame countries for failing their responsibilities in climate change adaptation.

In the Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF), the parties to the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed “that adaptation is a challenge faced by all Parties, and that enhanced action and international cooperation is urgently required to enable and support the implementation of adaptation actions aimed at reducing vulnerability and building resilience in developing country Parties […].” Furthermore, the conference of the parties (COP) requests the developed countries to provide developing countries with additional finance, technology, and capacity-building. This paper argues that this decision tends to oversimplify matters because it seems to differentiate responsibilities for climate change adaptation according to differences in the contribution to anthropogenic climate change only. However, the differentiation of responsibilities for climate change adaptation is more complex than it first appears to be.
To show why the differentiation of responsibilities for climate change adaptation is more complex, this paper analyzes the aspects of responsibility as a fourfold concept. Someone (i. the subject of responsibility) is always responsible for something (ii. the object of responsibility), answerable to some institution (iii.), and held accountable to a norm (iv.). The paper argues, first, that the appropriate object of responsibility in climate change adaptation is the burdens to be shared for effective and efficient adaptation. Second, for such adaptation to occur, however, subjects of responsibility should not only be developed countries. If appropriate competence and decision-structures are given in developing countries, these countries should also be deemed responsible for their own adaptation. Third, the paper shows that those vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change should decide on their own what adaptation measures they wish to take. Fourth, the argument of this paper suggests that ability-to-pay principles are the most appropriate norms by which to blame countries for failing their responsibilities in climate change adaptation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Center for Ethics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
08 University Research Priority Programs > Ethics
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:02 Sep 2015 16:07
Last Modified:01 Sep 2016 00:00
Publisher:Steiner/Nomos
ISSN:0722-5679
Related URLs:http://www.steiner-verlag.de/programm/fachbuch/philosophie/rechts-und-sozialphilosophie/reihen/view/titel/60910.html (Publisher)
http://www.recherche-portal.ch/ZAD:default_scope:ebi01_prod010685523 (Library Catalogue)
Other Identification Number:978-3-515-11387-8
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-112531

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