Seminar with Säde Hormio, researcher in Practical Philosophy at the University of Helsinki.
The amount of greenhouse gases that can still be emitted to the atmosphere is very limited if global total emissions are to stay below dangerous levels. But how the world’s carbon budget between states should be divided in a fair manner is a question that remains unresolved in both theoretical and practical debates. Another unanswered question is what emissions should count in the budget of a state: emissions that take place within its borders, or also emissions that happen in other countries, but have been enabled by that country, for example through extraction of raw material that have then been exported In any case, allocating emission permits to states is morally problematic, as doing so treats them as homogeneous units, even though there are large differences between citizens on how much they emit (Caney, 2009). This situation is more pronounced in some countries than others. In the UK, the top 1% of earners by income generate roughly the same carbon emissions in a year than the bottom 10% have done in 26 years (Garcia & Stronge 2022).