Journal of East China Normal University(Educational Sciences) ›› 2023, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (12): 74-84.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2023.12.007

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A Discussion on Ethical Education of Students’ Natural Responsibility in the Age of Carbon Neutrality

Na Su, Xiaoying Han   

  1. School of Education, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200233, China
  • Online:2023-12-01 Published:2023-11-27


The natural environment on which humanity depends is facing an unprecedented crisis, and the “carbon-neutral era” that calls for sustainable development is approaching with an irresistible momentum, which requires humanity to focus on the long-term development of nature and future society. As the world responds to the ecological crisis, education is the key way to address the global ecological crisis since the Anthropocene, which follows the ethical approach to the ethics of responsibility. The “ethics of natural responsibility”, which emphasizes the goodness of motives and results of actions with nature as the purpose, has become a theoretical guide to rescue the development dilemma, which strongly demands that humans be responsible for the sustainable development of nature. In reality, the effectiveness of nature education needs to be improved, and the problem of “nature deficit” is still serious and far from what society expects and what nature education should be. Nature responsibility ethics education, which aims to cultivate young people to be responsible for nature, is an inevitable trend in the age of carbon neutrality, and can achieve the Pareto optimal state of nature education effectiveness. The responsible actors of nature responsibility ethics education can be collective or individual, and accordingly, there are collective and individual ways to implement nature responsibility ethics education. On the individual level, each individual as a citizen of society has the moral responsibility to protect nature; on the social level, the main entity that can effectively implement nature responsibility education is the government, and the specific implementers are mainly the schools and institutions at all levels organized by the government. Education on the ethics of natural responsibility requires training young people to care about the use of natural resources and the conservation of the environment and ecology, to recognize the beauty of nature outside of human society, to understand the relationship between the environment and the survival of plants and animals, to understand the efforts and achievements of the country in the conservation of natural resources, to understand their personal responsibility for the sustainable development of the country, and to actively practice their responsibility to protect the natural environment in the world they live in.

Key words: carbon neutral, natural responsibility, responsibility ethics, responsibility ethics education, natural responsibility ethics education