Why Business Firms Have Moral Obligations to Mitigate Climate Change

  • Anne SchwenkenbecherEmail author
Part of the CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance book series (CSEG)


Without doubt, the global challenges we are currently facing—above all world poverty and climate change —require collective solutions: states, national and international organizations, firms and business corporations as well as individuals must work together in order to remedy these problems. In this chapter, I discuss climate change mitigation as a collective action problem from the perspective of moral philosophy. In particular, I address and refute three arguments suggesting that business firms and corporations have no moral duty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions : (i) that business corporations are not appropriate addressees of moral demands because they are not moral agents , and (ii) that to the extent that they are moral agents their primary moral obligation is to their owners or shareholders, and (iii) the appeal to the difference principle: that individual business corporations cannot really make a significant difference to successful climate change mitigation.


Business Firms Agentsagents Difference Principle Climate changeClimate Change Mitigation Parfit 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Arts, Murdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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