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Why business firms have moral obligations to mitigate climate change

Schwenkenbecher, A. (2018) Why business firms have moral obligations to mitigate climate change. In: Brueckner, M., Spencer, R. and Paull, M., (eds.) Disciplining the Undisciplined? Springer International Publishing, pp. 55-70.

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Without doubt, the global challenges we are currently facing—above all world poverty and climate change —require collective solutions: states, national and international organizations, firms and business corporations as well as individuals must work together in order to remedy these problems. In this chapter, I discuss climate change mitigation as a collective action problem from the perspective of moral philosophy. In particular, I address and refute three arguments suggesting that business firms and corporations have no moral duty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions : (i) that business corporations are not appropriate addressees of moral demands because they are not moral agents , and (ii) that to the extent that they are moral agents their primary moral obligation is to their owners or shareholders, and (iii) the appeal to the difference principle: that individual business corporations cannot really make a significant difference to successful climate change mitigation.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Copyright: © 2018 Springer International Publishing AG
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