Climate Justice and Capabilities: A Framework for Adaptation Policy

Ethics and International Affairs 26 (4):445-461 (2012)
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Abstract

This article lays out a capabilities and justice-based approach to the development of adaptation policy. While many theories of climate justice remain focused on ideal theories for global mitigation, the argument here is for a turn to just adaptation, using a capabilities framework to encompass vulnerability, social recognition, and public participation in policy responses. This article argues for a broadly defined capabilities approach to climate justice, combining a recognition of the vulnerability of basic needs with a process for public involvement. Such an approach can be used to engage stakeholders with varied perceptions of what is at risk, and to develop priorities for adaptation policy. It addresses both individual and community-level vulnerabilities, and acknowledges that the conditions of justice depend on a functioning, even if shifting, environment.

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