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Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change.

Edited by W. Neil Adger, Jouni Paavola, Saleemul Huq, and M.J. Mace. 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA 02142: The MIT Press, November 2006. (800) 405-1619. ISBN 0-262-51193-2. 312 pp. $25.00 Paperback.

As a global society, we need to take action not only to prevent the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change but also to adapt to the unavoidable effects of climate change already imposed on the world. Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change looks at the challenges of ensuring that policy responses to climate change do not place undue and unfair burdens on already vulnerable populations. All countries will be endangered by climate change risks from floods, drought, and other extreme weather events, but developing countries are more dependent on climate-sensitive livelihoods such as farming and fishing and hence are more vulnerable. Despite this, the concerns of developing countries are marginalized in climate policy decisions that exacerbate current vulnerabilities.

Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change brings together scholars from political science, economics, law, human geography, and climate science to offer the first assessment of the social justice issues in adaptation to climate change. The book outlines the philosophical underpinnings of different types of justice in relation to climate change, present inequities, and future burdens, and it applies these to real-world examples of climate change adaptation in Bangladesh, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, and Hungary. It argues that the key to adapting to climate change lies in recognizing the equity and justice issues inherent in its causes and in human responses to it.

W. Neil Adger leads the research effort on adaptation at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.

Jouni Paavola is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment at the University of East Anglia.

Saleemul Huq is director of the Climate Change Programme at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London.

M. J. Mace is a staff lawyer at the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development's Climate Change and Energy Programme.
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Publication:Environmental Law
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2007
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