Book Chapter

Are States Responsible for Climate Change in Their Own Right?

Holly Lawford-Smith, Anton Eriksson

Routledge Handbook on Collective Responsibility | Routledge | Published : 2020


Group agents, such as corporations and states, are often taken to have moral obligations, including duties of beneficence. This chapter explores the possibility that unstructured groups or collectivities that are not agents (or at least not yet agents) can have collective obligations of beneficence and that these collective obligations have moral implications for the members of these groups. After motivating the idea of collective duties of beneficence in general, and surveying the current literature, I argue that when there is evidence that a group of individuals has the necessary capacity to prevent a harm or a wrong and the individual members are aware (or should be aware) of this, they h..

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