Environmental ethics is a part of applied philosophy that studies the conceptual foundations of environmental values as well as more concrete issues surrounding societal attitudes, actions, and policies to protect and sustain biodiversity and ecological systems. Ethics plays an important role in our society today, and environmental ethics must be considered. Environmental ethics are a key feature of environmental studies that establishes relationship between humans and the earth. With environmental ethics, we can ensure that we are doing our part to keep the environment safe and protected. Environmental ethics helps define man's moral and ethical obligations toward the environment. But human values become a factor when looking at environmental ethics.
Human values are the things that are important to individuals that they then use to evaluate actions or events i.e. humans assign value to certain things and then use this assigned value to make decisions about whether something is right or wrong. Human values are unique to each individual because not everyone places the same importance on each element of life. For example, a person living in poverty in an undeveloped country may find it morally acceptable to cut down the forest to make room for a farm where he can grow food for his family. However, a person in a developed country may find this action morally unacceptable because the destruction of forests increases carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, which can negatively impact the environment. Environmental ethics builds on scientific understanding by bringing human values, moral principles, and improved decision making into conversation with science. Water and air pollution, the depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, destruction of ecosystems, and global climate change are all part of the environmental ethics debate.
Basically the fundamental question that must be addressed is: what duties do humans have with respect to the environment? Ethical debates have an impact on the ability to solve the environmental problems since the individuals differ in opinion when it comes to the natural environment and this is important because the ethics of the environment are of major concern these days