Climate Change and Wild Animals: Key Ethical Perspectives

  • Clare Palmer Texas A&M University


Climate change is already having significant impacts on wild animal species and individuals.
While not all these impacts are negative, many individual animals will suffer declines in their welfare
and some will die, and many species will move towards extinction, as the climate changes. From a
number of ethical perspectives, these negative impacts of climate change matter. This paper will outline
three such perspectives: those that emphasize the value of species, those that are primarily concerned
with individual animals’ welfare, and those that focus on climate injustice. Each of these perspectives
appears to require an ethically-informed policy response to negative climate impacts on wild animals.
However, I’ll suggest, such different ethical perspectives don’t always agree on what the best practical
response actually is. This may make it more difficult to construct ethical policy and legal frameworks to
respond to climate change in the context of wild animals.

How to Cite
PALMER, Clare. Climate Change and Wild Animals: Key Ethical Perspectives. Global Journal of Animal Law, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 1, p. 105-115, feb. 2024. ISSN 2341-8168. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 june 2024.