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Environmental Values

Climate Change, Adaptation, and Climate-Ready Development Assistance

Andrew Light and Gwynne Taraska

Environmental Values 23 (2014): 129-147. doi: 10.3197/096327114X13894344179086


Traditional justifications for state-to-state development assistance include charity, basic rights and self-interest. Except in unusual cases such as war-reparations agreements, development assistance has typically been justified for reasons such as the above, without reference to any history of injury that holds between the states. We argue that climate change entails relationships of harm that can be cited to supplement and strengthen the traditional claims for development assistance. Finally, to demonstrate the utility of this analysis, we offer a brief application of our reasoning to the emerging conflict in the United Nations over the future post-2015 development agenda.


Climate change adaptation, development assistance, Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals, methodological pragmatism

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Adapting to a Perilous Planet. Kenneth Shockley and Andrew Light

Editorial: The Ethics of Engineering the Climate. Christian Baatz, Clare Heyward and Harald Stelzer

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