1.1. Moral concern and self-interest

To have moral concern or respect for others means to place intrinsic value on their good life, to further their happiness for its own sake and not solely for the sake of your own happiness. A self-interested agent, in contrast, accords the happiness of others only instrumental value for his or her own happiness.—That moral concern has something to do with an unselfish regard for the good life of all others is accepted by virtually all contemporary moral theories (Krebs 1999: 16).

We can distinguish three areas of environmental ethics, which together build an ascending sequence. Each subsequent area includes the former or extends it with an additional ‘moral agent’.