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Fairness and FuturityEssays on Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice$
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Andrew Dobson

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294894

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294891.001.0001

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Sustainability and Intergenerational Justice

Sustainability and Intergenerational Justice

(p.93) 4 Sustainability and Intergenerational Justice
Fairness and Futurity

Brian Barry

Oxford University Press

Brian Barry argues that justice is an appropriate language in which to articulate our concern for future generations. He regards sustainability as an inescapably normative notion, and argues that disagreements over its meaning are disagreements about what should be sustained. His answer is ‘some notion of equal opportunity across generations’––and this will involve a protection of nature consistent with the provision of inter‐generational equality of opportunity. Barry believes that one of the biggest obstacles to realizing sustainability is population growth: any given generation cannot be responsible for population growth in the future, he argues.

Keywords:   equal opportunity, generations, justice, nature, norms, population, sustainability

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