Carbon Offsets and Concerns About Shifting Harms: A Reply to Elson

Authors

  • Kian Mintz-Woo University College Cork, Ireland & International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.23941/ejpe.v17i1.870

Abstract

Luke Elson defends carbon offsetting on the basis that it is not morally objectionable to shift harms or risks around. As long as emitting and offsetting does not increase the overall harms or risks—and merely shifts them—compared to refraining from emitting, he suggests there is no injustice involved. I respond in several ways, suggesting that the time delay involved in offsetting can increase these risks but, regardless, there is a defensible default which could justify refraining from emitting, even when planning to offset.

Author Biography

Kian Mintz-Woo, University College Cork, Ireland & International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria

Kian Mintz-Woo is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and the Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork, Ireland and a Guest Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria. He helps set climate policy on Irish carbon budgets and was awarded the International Society for Environmental Ethics's 2021 Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy.

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Published

2024-07-05

How to Cite

Mintz-Woo, K. (2024). Carbon Offsets and Concerns About Shifting Harms: A Reply to Elson. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 17(1), aa-aa. https://doi.org/10.23941/ejpe.v17i1.870