Ethical Considerations of Climate Change
1. Choose a country from among this list to become an expert on:
Australia, Bangladesh, China, European Union, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United States, or Russia.
2. Research how climate change is going to impact this country and what issues they want UN assistance with and are willing to negotiate on. What is the history of your country’s position on climate change negotiations? What conditions (political, economic, environmental) have influenced your country’s position? Specifically, you should find answers to the following:
· What are the ethical issues most important to your country?
· How much greenhouse gas emissions are your country responsible for?
· What is the development status of your country and per capita wealth?
· What is needed for your country to adapt to the unavoidable effects of climate change?
· What are some basic facts about your country (type of government, population, resources, growth rates, etc.)?
· What is unique about your country as compared to others and how might this influence your position in climate negotiations?
· What are the foreign policy objectives of your country?
· What role does your country play in the UN (is it an active member, an observer)?
3. Think about how ethics might influence your country’s position on climate change and how other countries might respond to your country’s position based on their ethics. Specifically you should consider the following questions:
· What ethically based response should the international community choose to respond to climate change?
· What ethical questions are hidden in scientific and economic arguments about various climate change policy proposals?
· Why is an equitable approach to climate change policy necessary to overcome barriers between rich and poor and to reduce international tensions that arise from climate-caused food and water scarcities and the perceived use of global commons?
· What should each country’s responsibilities be with regards to climate change?
· What ethical considerations should be used to allocate responsibility among people, organization, and government to prevent intolerable impacts from climate change?
· Are reasons for delaying climate change action ethically justified?
4. In your final paper (should be about 2 pages-long) you should write from the point of view of an expert on that country, advising the UN on their position/s and the likelihood that they will negotiate effectively with the international community. You should review information from a variety of sources and cite these sources in your paper. Your paper will be evaluated for the following.
· Knowledge of subject
· Paper is focused and clear
· Position is logical
· Evidence of thorough research
· Position reflects ethics, economics, science, and culture of country
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