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The ethics of climate change and the green new deal: a qualitative study

Damian J. Bridge (Department of Applied Finance, Macquarie Business School, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

Journal of Accounting Literature

ISSN: 0737-4607

Article publication date: 14 November 2022

Issue publication date: 12 January 2023

73

Abstract

Purpose

This paper builds on the findings of Bridge (2021) and attempts to understand the major ethical, equity, and leadership issues that may arise when governments plan massive infrastructure and amelioration programs such as the United States’ Green New Deal (GND). The methodology developed here could be applied to the plans being created in other developed countries such as Canada and Korea.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was used to analyse the ethical issues associated with the Green New Deal via semi-structured interviews with 34 published authors of academic articles dealing with the ethics of climate change. Two industry experts were also consulted for reference.

Findings

This paper identifies three key themes arising from the proposed implementation of the Green New Deal. Firstly, the GND has the potential to present equity, justice, and ethical issues that must be considered as part of any intended adoption. Secondly, the GND will present opportunities for economic and climate success, but some groups may suffer due to its implementation. Thirdly, those that have the capacity, wealth, leadership, and ability should lead climate change initiatives. This may require market solutions in the short-term to reach 2050 net zero targets.

Originality/value

This paper is the first qualitative study undertaken on the Green New Deal, contributing to the development of the scant literature on this topic and also informing the practical implementation of wholesale infrastructure plans.

Keywords

Citation

Bridge, D.J. (2023), "The ethics of climate change and the green new deal: a qualitative study", Journal of Accounting Literature, Vol. 45 No. 1, pp. 48-63. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAL-03-2022-0039

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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