JOHN BROOME: WRITINGS ON CLIMATE CHANGE TO 31 DECEMBER 2017
Efficiency and future
Forthcoming in Economics and Philosophy
Standard lessons from economics tell us that an externality creates inefficiency, and that this inefficiency can be removed by internalizing the externality. This paper considers how successfully these lessons can be extended to intergenerational externalities such as emissions of greenhouse gas. For intergenerational externalities, the standard lessons involve comparisons between states whose populations of people differ, either in their identities or their numbers. Common notions of efficiency break down in these comparisons. This paper supplies a new notion of efficiency that allows the lessons to survive, but at the cost of reducing their practical significance.
and climate change
The Philosophers' Magazine, 76 (2017)
A World Climate Bank
In Institutions for Future Generations, edited by Axel Gosseries and Iñigo González-Ricoy, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 156-69
Written with Duncan Foley
Because greenhouse gas is an externality, it creates Pareto inefficiency. It is therefore possible to respond to climate change in a way that is a Pareeto improvement, requiring no sacrifice from anyone in any generation. A great deal of benefit can be achieved by doing so. However, making a Pareto improvement in practice requires a new international financial institution. We need a World Climate Bank, which will allow investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to be financed by public debt.
not ask for morality
In The Ethical Underpinnings of Climate Economics, edited by Adrian Walsh, Säde Hormio and Duncan Purves, Routledge, 2016, pp. 9-21.
Experience has shown that governments cannot be motivated by morality to make sufficient investments to bring climate change under control. They therefore must be motivated by self interest. It is possible to respond adequately to climate change without asking for a sacrifice from anyone in any generation.
reply to my critics
Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 40 (2016), pp. 158-171A response to three comments on my Climate Matters. In responding to Elizabeth Cripps, I argue that each individual’s emissions do harm because the harm done by cumulative emissions is roughly proportional to their quantity. Each rich person’s emissions are therefore an injustice. In responding to Holly Lawford-Smith, I point out that the harm done by each tonne of a person’s emissions is very much greater than the cost to the person of avoiding that emission, so very few among the rich have any excuse for making emissions. In response to Paul Bou-Habib, I argue that the morality of climate change has no need for a ‘person-affecting’ notion of improvement, and that notion is in any case defective because it can be cyclical.
Preprint Journal page
change: life and death
In Climate Change and Justice, edited by Jeremy Moss, Cambridge University Press, 2015, pp. 184-200
philosopher at the IPCC
The Philosophers' Magazine, 66 (2014), pp. 10-16
A shorter version on the blog of The London Review of Books
public and private morality of climate change
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, 32, (2013), pp. 3-20
Translation in Foreign Theoretical Trends (China), forthcoming
Full text (including the diagram, which was omitted from printed version)
most important thing about climate change
In Public Policy: Why Ethics Matters, edited by Jonathan Boston, Andrew Bradstock and David Eng, ANU E Press, 2010, pp. 101-16
ethics of climate change
Scientific American, June 2008, pp 69-73
Reprinted in The Best American Science and Nature Writing, 2008, edited by Tim Folger and Elizabeth Kolbert, Houghton Mifflin, 2009, pp. 11-18
Reprinted in Research Ethics: A Philosophical Approach to Responsible Conduct of Research, edited by Gary Comstock, Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 265-9
policies in response to climate change: some ethical issues
(Report written for the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, 2006)
Published on the UK Treasury website.
Reprinted in Global Justice, edited by Christian Barry and Holly Lawford-Smith, Ashgate Publishing, 2012
the Cost of Global Warming
White Horse Press, 1992
Full text of book
Writing for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Contributions to the Fifth Assessment Report:
3: Social, economic and ethical concepts and
methods (Lead Author) Link
Technical Summary (Lead Author) Link
Summary for Policymakers (Drafting Author) Link
All in Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, 2014. (The report of Working Group III.)
Synthesis Report, IPCC, 2014 (Member of the Core Writing Team) Link