Individuelle moralische Verantwortung im globalen KontextBin ich verantwortlich für den Klimawandel?


Allocating and distributing responsibility for harm prevention and alleviation is an important and often difficult moral and empirical task. This is no less true in the case of preventing and alleviating the harms of global climate change. My aim in this paper is to focus on a limited aspect of this task or inquiry. In particular, I try to examine and defend the claim that many of us have special responsibility to address the problem of climate change on the basis of being beneficiaries from the environmentally harmful actions and practices of others. I argue that, while not every case of benefiting innocently from harm generates special responsibility to compensate the victim, there are situations under which such responsibility is acquired. The first one is when the beneficiary happens to be, partially at least, the motivational cause for the harms in question. The second is when the benefits in question consist of transfer of some assets from those who inflicted the harm to the beneficiary. I argue that each of these two conditions is true of many people today.

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