Political realism, feasibility wedges, and opportunities for collective action on climate change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter raises objections to the argument that a highly unjust response to the problem of climate change is the best that we can currently hope for and is thus the solution that we should actively promote even from an ethical point of view. Such an argument has been put forward by a wide range of commentators in philosophy, economics, law, and international affairs including John Broome, Eric Posner, David Weisbach, and Cass Sunstein. Among other things, the author argues that the way in which this argument fails is both ethically and practically instructive, as its failure reveals how a realist approach to climate policy is consistent with a more equity-focused approach than is commonly appreciated. As a concrete illustration, it is explained how the lessons could be incorporated into a more ethical climate treaty architecture that shares structural features with proposals from William Nordhaus, Joseph Stiglitz, and others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhilosophy and Climate Change
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780198796282
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Agreement
  • Climate change
  • Economics
  • Equity
  • Ethics
  • Justice
  • Pareto improvement
  • Public policy
  • Realism
  • Treaty


Dive into the research topics of 'Political realism, feasibility wedges, and opportunities for collective action on climate change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this