1st Edition

Climate Change in the Global Workplace Labour, Adaptation and Resistance

Edited By Nithya Natarajan, Laurie Parsons Copyright 2021
    222 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    222 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers a timely exploration of how climate change manifests in the global workplace. It draws together accounts of workers, their work, and the politics of resistance in order to enable us to better understand how the impacts of climate change are structured by the economic and social processes of labour.

    Focusing on nine empirically grounded cases of labour under climate change, this volume links the tools and methods of critical labour studies to key debates over climate change adaptation and mitigation in order to highlight the active nature of struggles in the climate-impacted workplace. Spanning cases including commercial agriculture in Turkey, labour unions in the UK, and brick kilns in Cambodia, this collection offers a novel lens on the changing climate, showing how both the impacts of climate change and adaptations to it emerge through the prism of working lives.

    Drawing together scholars from anthropology, political economy, geography, and development studies, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of climate change adaptation, labour studies, and environmental justice. More generally, it will be of interest to anybody seeking to understand how the changing climate is changing the terms, conditions, and politics of the global workplace.

    1. Introduction: Climate Change in the Global Workplace: Labour, Adaptation and Resistance

    Nithya Natarajan and Laurie Parsons

    Part 1: Labour

    2. Thermal Inequality in a Changing Climate: Heat, Mobility and Precarity in the Cambodian Brick Sector

    Laurie Parsons.

    3. Climate Change Adaptation through Agroecology in Senegal: Enhanced Farm Workers’ Autonomy or New Forms of Vertical Labour Control?

    Patrick Bottazzi, Sébastien Boillat, Franziska Marfurt, and Sokhna Mbossé Seck

    4. Routes to Food Security: Strategies of Survival of Marginalised Communities North Western Bangladesh

    Taneesha Mohan

    Part 2: Adaptation

    5. Old Ways and New Routes: Climate Threats and Adaptive Possibilities in the Indian Himalayas

    Richard Axelby and Maura Bulgheroni

    6. From Climate Adaptation to Social Reproductive Resistance: Examining the Gendered Climate-Labour Migration Nexus in Southeast Asian Mobilisations for Environmental Justice

    Symon James-Wilson

    7. Hands That Adapt: Seasonal Labour Migration, Climate Change and the Making of Adaptable Subjects in Turkey

    Ethemcan Turhan

    Part 3: Resistance

    8. Workers and Environmentalists of the World Unite? Exploring Red-Green Politics in Union Support for Heathrow Expansion

    Maya Goodfellow and Nithya Natarajan

    9. A Changing Climate: Indigenous Participation in Extractive Industry

    Kimberleigh Schultz

    10. Climate Change is Class War: Global Labour’s Challenge to the Capitalocene

    Sabina Lawreniuk

    11. Conclusion: Towards a Reworking of Climate Adaptation as Labour ‘Resistance’

    Nithya Natarajan and Laurie Parsons



    Nithya Natarajan is Lecturer in international development at King's College, London. Her work focuses on South India and Cambodia, and explores agrarian change, rural–urban livelihoods, labour precarity, gender, and debt.

    Laurie Parsons is a Lecturer in human geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. His work examines the contested politics of climate change on socio-economic inequalities, patterns of work, and mobilities.

    "Nithya Natarajan and Laurie Parsons’ powerful collection on the issue of global warming and labour depicts the plight of workers in the Global South, exposed to what might be called the three evils of global warming: 1) the loss of livelihoods because of droughts, floods, landslides, etc.; 2) physical and mental suffering because of heat – heat strokes, dehydration, liver failure, etc.; and 3) forced migration because of global warming."

    Thomas Klikauer, Western Sydney University, Australia