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Omitting to Emit: Moral Duties to Reduce Emissions in Global Supply Chains

Eriksson, Anton (2019) Omitting to Emit: Moral Duties to Reduce Emissions in Global Supply Chains. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Climate change occurs when the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) causes an increase in global temperatures, thus negatively affecting life on Earth. This thesis is about the ethics of producing and consuming GHGs in global supply chains. My aim is to defend the claim that individual agents of the different stages of a supply chain of a product or service—such as suppliers of raw material, retailers, and consumers—cause harm through their emissions, and that they thereby are morally obligated to reduce them. I also claim that if they should fail to do so, they can be morally blameworthy for their harmful emissions. In order to argue for this, I first defend an account of the causation of emissions, according to which agents of the supply chain of a product or service jointly cause GHG emissions. Then, I set out to show that the effects of emissions are harmful. This sets the stage for arguing that moral agents of supply chains bear moral duties to avoid doing harm through their emissions, and that their failure to do so can merit moral blame. Apart from duties not to do harm, I also consider—but ultimately reject—an additional moral basis for reducing emissions, in the form of being morally complicit in the climatic harms brought about by others. In the final chapter of the thesis, I consider the implications of my arguments on climate policy, and argue that states have an obligation to induce agents of supply chains to comply with their duties to reduce emissions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.808675
Depositing User: Mr Anton Eriksson
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2020 16:17
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/27020

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