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Environmental Values

Sharing Responsibility for Divesting from Fossil Fuels

Eric S. Godoy

Environmental Values 26 (2017): 693-710. doi: 10.3197/096327117X15046905490344

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Governments have been slow to address climate change. If non-governmental agents share a responsibility in light of the slow pace of government action then it is a collective responsibility. I examine three models of collective responsibility, especially Iris Young's social connection model, and assess their value for identifying a collective, among all emitters, that can share responsibility. These models can help us better understand both the growth of the movement to divest from fossil fuels and the nature of responsibility for collective action problems. Universities and colleges share a responsibility because they occupy similar positions of, among other things, power and privilege.


Climate change ethics, divestment, collective responsibility, Iris Young, social connection responsibility, group agency

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Collective Environmental Virtue. David Clowney

Climate, Collective Action and Individual Ethical Obligations. Marion Hourdequin

Climate Change and Individual Responsibility: A Reply to Johnson. Marion Hourdequin

Ethical Obligations in a Tragedy of the Commons. Baylor L. Johnson

Bearing the Weight of the World: On the Extent of an Individual’s Environmental Responsibility. Ty Raterman

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Reversing Environmental Degradation: Justice, Fairness, Responsibility and Meaning. Simon Hailwood

A Responsibility to Revolt? Climate Ethics in the Real World. Dan Boscov-Ellen

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