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Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change White Paper

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In August 2006, the Collaborative Program on the Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change (EDCC) published the White Paper on the Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change. This paper describes the relevant facts, ethical questions, and preliminary ethical analyses that will constitute the initial phase of the EDCC. This paper does not seek to deal with these matters exhaustively but rather intends to create a focus for initial inquiry and draw preliminary conclusions about the ethical dimensions of several climate change issues that are possible at this early stage of the work of the EDCC.

History of the Program

The Collaborative Program on the Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change (EDCC) was launched at the 10th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that was held in early December of 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The major outcome of this meeting was the Buenos Aires Declaration on the Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change.

The Workshop on Carbon Geological Storage and Ethics, a three-day conference held in Rio de Janeiro on October 30 - November 1, is the latest and one of the strongest indicators that the international community is ready to grapple with ethical issues in responding to the climate change crisis. About 60 delegates from around the world representing more than 20 government agencies, non-governmental organizations, corporations, and universities attended. (Report forthcoming.)

Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change: Looking At the Work of the IPCC. COP 13 side event – Friday, December Bali, Indonesia. This program will review work on the ethical dimensions of climate change including ethical issues that arise in the work of the IPCC. Although IPCC is generally highly respected around the world, the way it synthesizes the scientific and economic literature on which it relies occasionally raises ethical issues. As the world moves into the implementation phase of climate change policies, ethical and justice issues entailed by climate change point to how IPCC might re-organize some of its future work.