Eric Posner and David Weisbach take the threat of climate change seriously. Their book Climate Change Justice offers policy prescriptions that deserve serious attention. While the authors adopt the framework of conventional welfare economics, they show a willingness to engage with noneconomic perspectives, which softens their conclusions. Although they are right to see a risk that overly aggressive ethical claims could derail international agreement on restricting greenhouse gases, their analysis makes climate justice too marginal to climate policy. The developed world does have a special responsibility for the current climate problem, and we should be willing both to agree to more stringent restrictions on emissions to protect future generations and the global poor and to agree to assist poor nations with their own adaptation and mitigation measures.
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