Climate Change and National Self-Interest
2016 (English)In: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, ISSN 1187-7863, E-ISSN 1573-322X, Vol. 29, no 6, 1043-1055 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Mitigation of climate change is often described as a tragedy of the commons. According to this theoretical framework, it is collectively rational for present-generation countries to mitigate climate change, but not individually rational to do so. It is rather in national self-interest to ‘free-ride’ on the mitigation actions of other countries. In this paper, I discuss two arguments criticizing this view. According to these arguments, it is in most cases individually rational for present-generation countries to mitigate, i.e., it is in their national self-interest. The first argument focuses on national self-interest in terms of economic efficiency, the second on national self-interest in terms of national security. I conclude that the critical arguments to a large extent are tenable, but that they seem to underestimate the significance of those cases in which it is not in national self-interest to mitigate climate change. In these cases the tragedy of the commons framework is still applicable.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016. Vol. 29, no 6, 1043-1055 p.
Climate change, Economic efficiency, Mitigation, National security, Self-interest
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132599DOI: 10.1007/s10806-016-9646-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-132599DiVA: diva2:1046930