One of the most surprising developments in the global response to climate change in recent years has been the increasingly significant role played by various sub-national actors. Back in 2003, for example, New South Wales introduced the world’s first mandatory emissions trading scheme. Corporations have invested billions of dollars in the development of green technologies. And individuals have engaged in political activism demanding action on climate change on a massive scale. Over 600 000 people marched in several cities around the world on the 21st of September 2014, for example, in the lead-up to the United Nations’ Climate Summit.
These developments have commanded considerable attention in the empirical literature. Little, however, has yet been said concerning the normative dimensions of climate action at the sub-national level. On the 29th and 30th of November, the Practical Justice Initiative at the University of New South Wales held an international workshop to focus attention upon these issues, with presentations from Christian Barry (ANU), Susanne Burri (LSE), Garrett Cullity (Adelaide), Elizabeth Cripps (Edinburgh), Ben Hale (Colorado), Holly Lawford-Smith (Melbourne) Jeremy Moss (UNSW), and Lachlan Umbers (UNSW). The topics discussed ranged widely, from the nature and basis of individuals’ duties to help promote collective action on climate change, the responsibilities of corporations and their employees to combat climate change, the morality of offsetting one’s emissions, and the relationship between the duties of nations, sub-national political communities, and individuals.