Historic legacies affect climate change survival in Caribbean

phys.org | 9/12/2017 | Staff
chrismpotts (Posted by) Level 3
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The legacies of empire have increased the vulnerability of Caribbean states to climate change, according to University of Warwick expert Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins.

In a new paper published this week, Dr Sealey-Huggins finds that discussion of climate change has failed to pay enough attention to the social, political and historic factors which increase the vulnerability of Caribbean societies, and calls for a new approach focused on understanding and addressing these historic inequalities.

Caribbean - Island - States - Storms - Droughts

Caribbean island states are already experiencing more intense tropical storms, longer and harsher droughts, and more frequent floods, as a result of climate change.

According to Dr Sealey-Huggins, the geographical factors which make Caribbean states more vulnerable to the effects of climate change are exacerbated by "the legacies of empire."

Legacies

These legacies include:

economic dependence on tourism, agriculture and fishing - sectors which are particularly threatened by climate change;

Power - Negotiations - Climate - Change - Discussions

unequal power in diplomatic negotiations - resulting in climate change discussions prioritising the needs of the developed North over those of the global South.

global indebtedness - leaving states more reliant on external financial aid and limiting their ability to fund development and adaptation;

Countries - Climate - Targets - Campaign - Refers

Caribbean countries have campaigned for strong climate targets, captured in the campaign slogan '1.5C to stay alive.' This refers to the limit of warming beyond which the island states will become unviable in the face of threats including rising sea levels, flooding, ocean acidification and drought.

Drawing on evidence from diplomatic correspondence published in 2010, Dr Sealey-Huggins argues that the failure of the international community...
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