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UNESCO Commission on Ethics Calls for Comments on Climate Change Report

UNESCO30 April 2013: The World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) is calling for public comments on its report, titled “Background for a Framework of Ethical Principles and Responsibilities for Climate Change Policies.” COMSET is an advisory body of independent experts for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The report outlines the main challenges in articulating a useful framework of ethical principles pertaining to climate change, then articulates the principles identified in COMEST's work so far as being most relevant to climate change. It then discuss a set of responsibilities to operationalize ethical principles.

According to the report, the main ethical issues raised by climate change may be how to define and differentiate responsibilities between present and future generations, developed and developing countries, and human and non-human beings. The five principles identified by COMSET are: the principle of avoiding harm; the principle of fairness; the principle of equitable access; the intellectual and moral solidarity of humankind; environmental sustainability; and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

The report will be finalized at the 8th Ordinary Session of COMEST, which will take place from 27-29 May 2013, in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Public comments should be sent by 20 May 2013, to j.crowley@unesco.org or m.shin@unesco.org. [UNESCO Press Release] [COMEST Website] [Publication: The Ethical Implications of Global Climate Change] [Publication: Background for a Framework of Ethical Principles and Responsibilities for Climate Change Policies]