Lukas Meyer Speaks on Distributive Justice and the Global Emissions Budget

Lukas Meyer, Professor for Philosophy and Head of the Section for Moral and Political Philosophy at the University of Graz (Austria), will give a talk with the title “Distributive Justice and the Global Emissions Budget.”

The talk will take place on October 4, 2023, from 4-5:30pm in the Fralin Auditorium (Fralin Hall).

The talk is tailored to appeal to both faculty and students, with plenty of time for discussion and interaction with the guest speaker. The talk will be followed by a public reception. You are cordially invited to attend.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Holly Belcher ( at least ten business days before the event.

Here is the abstract of the talk: I will explain an interdisciplinary approach to allocating the remaining global carbon budget among countries. The initial work on this was done by a climate physicist, two economists, and a philosopher (me) at the University of Graz, and we have been developing the approach further in collaboration with also other colleagues. In my talk I, first, identify an estimate for the remaining global carbon budget. Second, I discuss the two basic burden-sharing approaches, equal per capita and per capita convergence (better known as contraction and convergence). Third, I present criticisms of these simple approaches. Neither takes into account important normative dimensions of the distribution of benefits and costs of transformation. Fourth, I propose qualifications of the simple approaches to make them compatible with minimal requirements of justice and explain how they can be operationalized. I argue for a qualified equal per capita burden sharing approach that reflects considerations of sufficientarianism, historical responsibility, and feasibility constraints. In doing so, I make explicit the normative considerations taken into account, find convergence points between different approaches, and show that minimal justice requirements critically condition the distribution of the global carbon budget.

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