The climate ethics program: "Interdisciplinary at its best"

"Innovative, ambitious, and extremely well managed." A mid-term evaluation of the research program Climate Ethics and future generations praises it for being interdisciplinary at its best.

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond finances this program with a total of SEK 41 million. External evaluators Chris Armstrong at the University of Southampton and Catriona McKinnon, University of Exeter, write in the report that the program has produced an impressive amount of wide-ranging publications, several spin-off projects that have enabled new hires, and that the program is an outstanding platform for junior researchers. They also praise the program's research leader, Professor Gustaf Arrhenius, for having fostered an excellent intellectual environment and a clear direction for the program's remaining time.

What does this evaluation mean for your researchers in the program?

- I, of course, enjoy very much getting such enthusiastic recognition from external evaluators! It makes me especially happy that they paid attention to our genuinely interdisciplinary approach. Many talk about the importance of interdisciplinarity, but few get it to work in practice. Of course, this would not have happened if it had not been for the fantastic researchers in the program and my two assistant research leaders, Krister Bykvist and Göran Duus Otterström. And also, the excellent administrative support at IFFS. It would be very challenging to run such a large interdisciplinary and internationalized project at a university. Now I am very much looking forward to furthering research together with the researchers in the program and all spin-off projects ! says Gustaf Arrhenius.

The overarching question that the research program seeks to answer is what the current generation should do about climate change since our choices affect the living conditions of future generations and also who and how many people will exist.

Read more about the program

Read the program's self-evaluation at

A selection of publications from the program

Arrhenius, G. (Forthcoming) Population paradoxes without transitivity. In Arrhenius G., et al. (eds.). Oxford Handbook of Population Ethics. Oxford University Press.

Arrhenius, G., & Andersson, E. (Forthcoming) Constructivist contractualism and future generations. In Gardiner, S.M. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Intergenerational Ethics, Oxford University Press.

Arrhenius, G., Budolfson, M., & Spears, D (2021). Does climate change policy depend importantly on population ethics?: Deflationary Responses to the Challenges of Population Ethics for Public Policy. In Mark Budolfson, Tristram Mcpherson and David Plunkett (eds) Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford University Press.

Arrhenius, G., Bykvist, K., Campbell, T., & Finneron-Burns, E. (eds.). (Forthcoming 2021). Oxford Handbook of Population Ethics. Oxford University Press (read introduction and the papers in this list)

Broome, J. (2019). Against denialism. The Monist, 102 (1), 110-129.

Bykvist, K. & Campbell, T. (Forthcoming 2021) Frick’s defence of procreative asymmetry. Climate Ethics Preprints vol 4, Institute for Futures Studies.

Bykvist, K. (Forthcoming) Evaluative uncertainty and population ethics. In Arrhenius, G., et al. (eds.). Oxford Handbook of Population Ethics. Oxford University Press.

Bykvist, K., MacAskill, W., Ord, T. (2020). Moral Uncertainty. Oxford University Press (esp. chs. 1, 2, and 8)

Caney, S. (2020). Human Rights, Population and Climate Change. in Kande et. al. (eds.) Human Rights and 21st Century Challenges. Oxford University Press.

Duus-Otterström, G. & Hjorten, D. (2019). Consumption-based emissions accounting: The normative debate. Environmental Politics, 28(5): 866-885

Fairbrother, M., Arrhenius, G., Bykvist, K. & Campbell, T. (2021) Governing for Future Generations: How Political Trust Shapes Attitudes towards Climate and Debt Policies. Frontiers of Political Science. 3:656053

Fleurbaey, M., Ferranna, M., Budolfson, M., Dennig, F., Mintz-Woo, K., Socolow, R., Spears, D. & Zuber, S., (2019). The social cost of carbon: Valuing inequality, risk, and population for climate policy. The Monist, 102(1), 84-109.

Greaves, G. (2019) Climate Change and Optimum Population. The Monist, 102(1): 42–65

Greaves, H., & MacAskill, W. (2019) The case for strong longtermism (No. 7-2019). Global Priorities Institute Working Paper Series. GPI Working Paper.

Roberts, M.A. (Forthcoming) The Nonidentity Problem and the Better Chance Puzzle. In Arrhenius, G. et al. (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Population Ethics. Oxford University Press.

Steele, K. (Forthcoming) Pareto Improvements and Feasible Climate Solutions. In M. Budolfson, T. McPherson and D. Plunkett (eds.) Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford University Press. 346–369.

Stefánsson, H.O. (2020). Catastrophic risk. Philosophy Compass.