Climatic Change

, Volume 130, Issue 3, pp 465–474

Climate ethics at a multidisciplinary crossroads: four directions for future scholarship


DOI: 10.1007/s10584-015-1404-4

Cite this article as:
Markowitz, E.M., Grasso, M. & Jamieson, D. Climatic Change (2015) 130: 465. doi:10.1007/s10584-015-1404-4


In recent years, the field of climate ethics has grown into a truly multidisciplinary endeavor. Climate ethics scholars are pursuing both normative and positive questions about climate change using many different approaches drawn from a wide diversity of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. Now, the field stands at a multidisciplinary crossroads, delineated in large part by two interrelated considerations: what are the key research questions most in need of multidisciplinary attention and what can be done to move the insights and implications of climate ethics scholarship into real-world climate decision-making. Here, we identify four directions for near-future climate ethics research that we believe are both in need of further examination and likely to be of interest to a diverse coalition of decision-makers working “on the ground”: geoengineering; scope of ethical consideration; responsibility of actors; and, hazards, vulnerabilities and impacts. Regardless of the specific questions they choose to pursue, multidisciplinary climate ethics researchers should strive to conduct accessible and actionable research that both answers the questions decision-makers are already asking as well as helps shape those questions to make decision-making processes more inclusive and ethically-grounded.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ezra M. Markowitz
    • 1
  • Marco Grasso
    • 2
  • Dale Jamieson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ConservationUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Environment and Development StudiesBirkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Environmental StudiesNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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