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Climate Change in Africa

Social and Political Impacts, Conflicts, and Strategies

Edited By Bettina Engels and Kristina Dietz

This volume deals with the consequences of climate change and issues of international climate policy relating to Africa from a social science perspective. The contributions by international authors question dominant political approaches and key concepts of the climate debate. They explain how the effects of climate change are linked to existing social, economic and political-institutional structures and action by the State. The authors show how social movements in Africa shape climate policy «from below». The volume serves as an introduction into climate change in Africa. It wants to stimulate a critical debate on dominant strategies and points out that there can be no simple answers to the complex socio-ecological and political challenges linked to climate change in Africa.

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Climate debt, community resistance and conservation alliances against coal at Africa’s oldest nature reserve: Imfolozi, Fuleni and Somkhele, South Africa (Patrick Bond)

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Patrick Bond

Climate debt, community resistance and conservation alliances against coal at Africa’s oldest nature reserve: Imfolozi, Fuleni and Somkhele, South Africa

Introduction: who owes climate debt and who is a climate creditor?

Climate reparations demands at Asian Peoples’ Climate Court, Bangkok, 7 October 2008

Source: Jubilee South←17 | 18→

What liability exists for polluters – and what compensation should be given to victims of climate change, especially in Africa? Although the Global South faces much greater impacts from climate change, at least $200 billion in costs to residents and businesses in Texas and Florida caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in mid-2017 brought the terms ‘Loss and Damage’ into the public eye. The climate debt concept has been controversial, but in 2012 there was finally recognition by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that Loss and Damage requires recognition and calculation. The insurance industry has been doing so for many years, but increasingly severe storms and threats from sea-level rise in Miami and surrounding areas mean real estate empires – including Donald Trump’s ‘winter White House’ at Mar-a-Lago – are at risk.

Nowhere is this more important than the least-insured continent, Africa. Already in 2008, UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change director R.K. Pachauri (2008: 17) predicted, “In Africa, crop net revenues could fall by as much as 90 percent by 2100, with small-scale farmers being the most affected.” Christian Aid (2008) estimated that 182 million Africans...

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