Concepts of climate justice in adaptation and the importance of scale

Stream: Panel 61 - Environmental Politics: Environmental Justice 
Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Time: 9.00 am – 10.30 am


Concepts of climate justice are many and varied, with focuses on different philosophies, scales and issues of climate change. While the majority of climate justice literature focuses on mitigation at the international level, there is a growing consideration for climate justice in adaptation. Climate change is global in nature, but its effects are experienced at the local level. Accordingly, the adaptation activities that will be used to combat these effects are implemented at the local level. It is important to consider how issues of climate justice play out at various scales. With respect to adaptation, the subnational and local scales are particularly significant. This paper will examine concepts of climate justice and how these concepts can be applied to adaptation from the international down to subnational and local scales. While adaptation activities have the potential to address issues of climate justice, adaptation governance could also result in the perpetuating or intensifying of existing inequalities and injustices. The central concern of this paper is to examine how concepts of climate justice can ensure that the most vulnerable are considered in adaptation governance and to ensure the process adaptation does not exacerbate existing disadvantages.


Abbie White (Presenter), UNSW
Abbie is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Social Sciences at UNSW. Her thesis examines climate justice and National Adaptation Programmes of Action.