CFP: Individual Responsibility and Climate Change (MANCEPT)

Submission deadline: June 1, 2020

Conference date(s):
September 9, 2020 - September 11, 2020

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Manchester, United Kingdom

Topic areas


Many would accept that modern societies need to dramatically reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to prevent the harms associated with climate change. This would place substantial burdens on some individuals, requiring them to significantly modify their living patterns and possibly reduce their consumption. This workshop will explore normative and methodological issues related to individual behavior and efforts to address climate change. We welcome papers on public policy, but the workshop aims to focus on individual GHG reduction, social norm change, and measuring individuals’ impact.

Examples of topics we would be especially interested in include:

  • To what degree does addressing climate change require or favor changes to everyday social practices and conventions? Should individuals be expected to change their lifestyles to emit less? To what extent is it permissible to informally sanction people who fail to do so?

  • How should an individual’s GHG impact be measured? Should GHG accounting focus on the total share of emissions that can be attributed to particular individuals, or on the marginal difference their choices make to overall emissions?

  • Do individuals have claim-rights against others to reduce their GHG emissions? If so, are any specifiable individuals the holders of the corresponding obligation to reduce emissions?

  • Do individuals in the Global South have an obligation to reduce their emissions or the rate that their GHG emissions increase?

  • Do individuals have obligations to advocate for political change to address climate change even if they do not have obligations to reduce their individual emissions?

  • Many efforts to reduce individual emissions would be demanding. Does the demandingness of behavioral change to reduce GHG emissions make those changes non-obligatory or supererogatory?

Please submit abstracts of no more than 1000 words to [email protected] Abstracts are due by June 1st (11:59 EST) for full consideration. Any abstract sent by this deadline will be notified by June 10th if they accepted for the workshop. Please note that June 15th is the deadline to apply for a financial bursary (which can be done at the conference website:

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