The Flyer’s dilemma and the Logger’s case for climate justice
Matthew Jurjonas and
World Development Perspectives, 2020, vol. 20, issue C
The Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change outline mitigation goals by sector. However, this framing is likely to create climate justice issues as it does not explicitly address the contributions of individuals. High emissions from luxury activities like commercial air travel are addressed with voluntary and behavioral change approaches for mitigation while the global rural communities who are dependent on forestry-based livelihoods face carbon credit schemes as well as federal and international conservation interventions despite having a lower per capita carbon footprint. To illustrate this point, the emissions of the average air traveler and several international flights are compared to the average forest user in relation to land use change emissions. In many cases, a single round-trip international flight emits more CO2 per person than the yearly national average of India, Mexico, and Tanzania; all countries with important forestry sectors and indigenous people that depend on forestry-based livelihoods. The disproportionate regulatory burden of forest users in the developing world contrasts their relative contribution to climate change and the unregulated individual behaviors of the global elite. It is time for mandatory offset charges on airline tickets and regulatory framing of mitigation by per capita contributions instead of sector-based approaches.
Keywords: Climate policy; Attitude behavior gap; CO2 emissions; Climate change mitigation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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