Should we prohibit luxury emissions of greenhouse gases, on top of price constraints?
Many people have the intuition that there is something especially wrong with luxury emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly at a time when humanity is struggling to contain global warming within acceptable risk limits. Yet, if we are to justify action, there needs to be solid ethical arguments why luxury emissions should be prohibited, rather than merely discouraged, and clear criteria indicating which emissions are to be considered as luxury. So far, the distinction between luxury and subsistence emissions has mainly been used to justify a right to subsistence emissions, rather than a ban on luxury emissions. PROHIBLUX aims to develop a theory of carbon limits, as a partial and non-ideal account of climate justice. In particular, PROHIBLUX has three main objectives. First, the elaboration of one or more normative arguments justifying the activation of carbon limits under certain non-ideal circumstances. Second, the development of an integrated grid of identification criteria for luxury emissions. Third, the ethics-and-policy analysis of the policy options, both top-down and market-based, for implementing carbon limits. Carbon-limits policies are not supposed to replace equal-for-all climate policies (e.g., regulation and/or carbon pricing) but rather to complement them; moreover, they are also expected to address the problem of luxury carbon leakage and the ethical concerns (mainly global) that may arise from tackling it.