The Professionalization of Ethics in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – from Servant of Science to Ethical Master?
Article first published online: 17 APR 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
Special Issue: Critical Perspectives
Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 122–130, March/April 2013
How to Cite
Skoglund, A. and Jensen, T. (2013), The Professionalization of Ethics in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – from Servant of Science to Ethical Master?. Sust. Dev., 21: 122–130. doi: 10.1002/sd.1559
- Issue published online: 17 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 17 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 21 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 2 OCT 2012
- climate ethics;
- sustainable development
Solutions to climate change have been academically criticized for their continued economic growth, managerialism and lack of real politics. In comparison, the IPCC's socio-economic assessments of climate change have accentuated the ethical implications of their own policy recommendations. Our analysis of ten IPCC reports (1990–2012) shows a turn from a claimed non-political position in human-induced climate change to an outspoken ethical position in climate-induced disasters. We argue that a professionalization of climate ethics is sought through ecological reason, specifically by calls for resilience to foster adaptable subjects. This neoliberal position leans on a problematization of vulnerable subjects' resistance to social adaptation, underpinned by an aim to redirect resistance towards physical disasters to stimulate climate adaptation. Conclusively, climate ethical mastery is formed by detailed elaborations of how the vulnerable subject should not only subsume to ecological reason, but also ethically embrace physical threats and dangers as if productive of life supportive qualities. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.