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Library Social Dimensions of Climate Change
: Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World

Social Dimensions of Climate Change
: Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World

Social Dimensions of Climate Change
: Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World

Resource information

Date of publication
March 2012
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

Climate change is widely acknowledged as
foremost among the formidable challenges facing the
international community in the 21st century. It poses
challenges to fundamental elements of our understanding of
appropriate goals for social and economic policy, such as
the connection of prosperity, growth, equity, and
sustainable development. This volume seeks to establish an
agenda for research and action built on an enhanced
understanding of the relationship between climate change and
the key social dimensions of vulnerability, social justice,
and equity. The volume is organized as follows. This
introductory chapter first sets the scene by framing climate
change as an issue of social justice at multiple levels, and
by highlighting equity and vulnerability as the central
organizing themes of an agenda on the social dimensions of
climate change. Chapter two leads off with a review of
existing theories and frameworks for understanding
vulnerability, drawing out implications for pro-poor climate
policy. Understanding the multilayered causal structure of
vulnerability then can assist in identifying entry points
for pro-poor climate policy at multiple levels. Building on
such analytical approaches, chapters three and four,
respectively, consider the implications of climate change
for armed conflict and for migration. Those chapters are
followed by a discussion of two of the most important social
cleavages that characterize distinct forms of vulnerability
to climate change and climate action: gender (chapter five)
and ethnicity or indigenous identity (chapter six), in the
latter case, focusing on the role of indigenous knowledge in
crafting climate response measures in the Latin American and
Caribbean region. Chapter seven highlights the important
mediating role of local institutions in achieving more
equitable, pro-poor outcomes from efforts to support
adaptation to climate change. Chapter eight examines the
implications of climate change for agrarian societies living
in dry-land areas of the developing world, and chapter nine
does the same for those living in urban centers. Chapter ten
considers the role of social policy instruments in
supporting pro-poor adaptation to climate change; and it
argues for a focus on 'no-regrets' options that
integrate adaptation with existing development approaches,
albeit with modifications to take better account of the ways
in which climate variables interact with other drivers of
vulnerability. Finally, chapter eleven turns to the
implications of climate policy and action for forest areas
and forest people.

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