Recognitional Justice, Climate Engineering, and the Care Approach

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24 Scopus citations


Given the existing inequities in climate change, any proposed climate engineering strategy to solve the climate problem must meet a high threshold for justice. In contrast to an overly thin paradigm for justice that demands only a science-based assessment of potential temperature-related benefits and harms, we argue for the importance of attention to recognitional justice. Recognitional justice, we go on to claim, calls for a different type of assessment tool. Such an assessment would pay attention to neglected considerations such as relationships, context, power, vulnerability, narrative, and affect (amongst others). Here we develop a care-ethics related tool for assessing the justice (or injustice) of climate engineering with stratospheric aerosols, and suggest that qualitative social science methods may be required for its effective application. We illustrate the use of this tool with a case study involving interviews about stratospheric aerosol injection conducted in Kenya, the Solomon Islands, and the North American Arctic. Having shown through this case study the efficacy of the care approach for spotting recognitional injustice, we suggest that a care approach is not only sensitive to the considerations that count, it can also be powerfully normative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-323
Number of pages16
JournalEthics, Policy and Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2 2018


  • Care Approach
  • Climate Engineering
  • Recognitional Justice
  • Social Science
  • Vulnerable Populations


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