Reclaiming open climate adaptation futures
In the article, "Reclaiming open climate adaptation futures," published in Nature Climate Change, scientists from Griffith University, Wageningen University & Research, University of Melbourne, the Pacific Theological College and Deltares make a plea for keeping an open mind about what climate change means for people who live in the areas that suffer most from global warming.
They find that especially places in the Global South are declared uninhabitable too quickly because of climate change and warn that a narrative of inevitable uninhabitability draws on political beliefs that some places in the world have more value than others.
Ingrid Boas of Wageningen University & Research says, "This we find problematic because it closes pathways for some who want to adapt, while keeping them open for others. For instance, too easily small island states are put aside as lost to sea-level rise, as passive victims and the first climate refugees, making donors wary to invest in their adaptation plans."
"This almost makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Meanwhile the islanders are far from ready to give in and make plans to adapt their lives, and their islands. It would be fair to see funding for these islanders, because countries in Australia, the United States and Europe have profited from them in colonial times and share responsibility for saving them."
In the article, the authors do not necessarily claim all proposals for saving Islands like Tuvalu are feasible but suggest these proposals should gain serious attention and not be put aside a priori.
More information: Carol Farbotko et al, Reclaiming open climate adaptation futures, Nature Climate Change (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41558-023-01733-1
Journal information: Nature Climate Change
Provided by Wageningen University