Advanced

Reply to Comment on 'The climate mitigation gap : Education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions'

Wynes, Seth and Nicholas, Kimberly A. LU (2018) In Environmental Research Letters 13(4).
Abstract

In their comment piece, van Basshuysen and Brandstedt raise three main issues: first, whether population at the global scale, or individual family planning decisions, are relevant for climate change mitigation; second, they offer useful critiques of the methodologies to attribute greenhouse gas emissions for the choice to have a child; and third, they question the appropriate ethical responsibility for emissions resulting from personal choices. Here we reply that first, we consider choices regarding family size to meet the authors' criteria for actions 'under the control of the individual agent and which, with a significant probability, contribute to' (increased greenhouse gas emissions), and therefore are relevant to consider for... (More)

In their comment piece, van Basshuysen and Brandstedt raise three main issues: first, whether population at the global scale, or individual family planning decisions, are relevant for climate change mitigation; second, they offer useful critiques of the methodologies to attribute greenhouse gas emissions for the choice to have a child; and third, they question the appropriate ethical responsibility for emissions resulting from personal choices. Here we reply that first, we consider choices regarding family size to meet the authors' criteria for actions 'under the control of the individual agent and which, with a significant probability, contribute to' (increased greenhouse gas emissions), and therefore are relevant to consider for climate mitigation. Second, we acknowledge both methodological issues inherent in allocating responsibility for emissions, and encourage more research on this topic especially for the climate impact of reproductive choices. Third, we address ethical questions about responsibility for emissions, and conclude that while such discussions are important, and individual choices are only one part of necessary emissions reductions, people alive today are the last to have a chance at remaining within the carbon budget to meet international climate targets, and therefore do have a special responsibility to reduce emissions.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
climate change mitigation, climate policy, education, environmental behaviour, transformation pathways
in
Environmental Research Letters
volume
13
issue
4
publisher
IOP Publishing
external identifiers
  • scopus:85047390487
ISSN
1748-9318
DOI
10.1088/1748-9326/aab210
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
be8659d7-46e3-4b40-a366-ecf41fbc1a24
date added to LUP
2018-06-07 09:13:48
date last changed
2019-03-22 13:25:07
@article{be8659d7-46e3-4b40-a366-ecf41fbc1a24,
  abstract     = {<p>In their comment piece, van Basshuysen and Brandstedt raise three main issues: first, whether population at the global scale, or individual family planning decisions, are relevant for climate change mitigation; second, they offer useful critiques of the methodologies to attribute greenhouse gas emissions for the choice to have a child; and third, they question the appropriate ethical responsibility for emissions resulting from personal choices. Here we reply that first, we consider choices regarding family size to meet the authors' criteria for actions 'under the control of the individual agent and which, with a significant probability, contribute to' (increased greenhouse gas emissions), and therefore are relevant to consider for climate mitigation. Second, we acknowledge both methodological issues inherent in allocating responsibility for emissions, and encourage more research on this topic especially for the climate impact of reproductive choices. Third, we address ethical questions about responsibility for emissions, and conclude that while such discussions are important, and individual choices are only one part of necessary emissions reductions, people alive today are the last to have a chance at remaining within the carbon budget to meet international climate targets, and therefore do have a special responsibility to reduce emissions.</p>},
  articleno    = {048002},
  author       = {Wynes, Seth and Nicholas, Kimberly A.},
  issn         = {1748-9318},
  keyword      = {climate change mitigation,climate policy,education,environmental behaviour,transformation pathways},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  number       = {4},
  publisher    = {IOP Publishing},
  series       = {Environmental Research Letters},
  title        = {Reply to Comment on 'The climate mitigation gap : Education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions'},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aab210},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2018},
}