Climate Change: Justice, Policy, and the Individual

Autore: Sabrina Valeria Ronco

The connections between climate change and the individual are complex and intricate. Whilst climate change is caused by billions of acts of consumption, its causation cannot be directly linked to individual consumers – the emissions of a single individual would not cause climate change on their own, and the individual can therefore not be claimed to hold responsibility for its causation and effects. Furthermore, the reduction or complete negation of a single individual’s emissions would not represent an effective way of mitigating climate change. An important question that arises is therefore how we can consider the individual and her role in causing and counteracting climate change politically. In this reflection, I explain and respond to the problems of responsibility and effectiveness with regard to climate justice, climate policy, and the individual, and present some alternative approaches to the notion of climate change and the individual, both of theoretical and practical nature.