Global Warming in Asia-Pacific: Environmental Change vs. International Justice
The preponderance of evidence from reports on climate change suggests that China and East Asia will face major environmental challenges, most of them unwelcome. In the following article, Paul G. Harris, associate professor of politics at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, introduces some of the underlying ethical considerations with regard to climate change justice and equity. He explores how justice is part of the broader international politics of climate change, the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change, its 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the ongoing negotiations concerning how to implement it. The emphasis is on the more practical debates, their codification in international instruments, and the ways in which East Asian countries perceive them. Harris concludes that increasing knowledge of the uncertainty and adversity from climate change has raised awareness among East Asian countries, but concerns about justice and equity mean that worries about climate change do not translate easily into national action.