v1 n2: Brooks on Paying to Tackle Pollution

Who Should Pay to Tackle Pollution, by Thom Brooks

A COMMENTARY ON A. Zahar (2018), “The Contested Core of Climate Law,” Climate Law 8(3–4): 244–60. https://doi.org/10.1163/18786561-00803009


In the efforts to combat climate change, there are a growing number of scholars who claim that the pollution costs should be paid by the polluters in what has become known as “the polluter pays principle.” Zahar defends this principle as the best way to tackle the associated harms that polluting creates. This comment raises questions about how this principle might work, and compares it with the alternative approaches of the beneficiary pays principle and the principle we should pay polluters to cease polluting. It is argued that none solve the problem even if some can be part of a future solution that pushes us to rethink how we can best achieve global justice.

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Thom Brooks is Dean and Professor of Law and Government at Durham University’s Law School and an advisor to the UK Labour Party

Published by

Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.

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