1st Edition

Climate Justice in the Majority World Vulnerability, Resistance, and Diverse Knowledges

    300 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    300 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited collection explores a diverse range of climate (in)justice case studies from the Majority World – where most of humans and non-humans live. It is also the site of the most severe impacts of climate change and home to some of the key solutions for the climate crisis. The collection brings together 12 chapters featuring the work of over 30 authors from around the globe.

    The impacts of climate change are disproportionately affecting individuals, communities, and countries in the Majority World who historically have contributed little to rising global temperatures. The 12 chapters focus on a range of cross-cutting themes, demonstrating both individual and collective experiences of climate change and struggles for achieving climate justice from the Majority World. This includes activism, resistance, and social movement organizing in India and Brazil; lived experiences and understandings of frontline communities in Bangladesh and South Africa; consequences of and responses to disasters in Mozambique and Puerto Rico; and contested accounts, narratives, and futures in the Maldives and Pakistan, among other topics.

    By adopting a decolonial lens, this book provides rich empirical content, insightful comparisons, and novel conceptual interventions. It foregrounds climate justice from an intersectional perspective and contributes to the ongoing efforts by scholars and activists to address epistemic injustice in climate change research, policy, and practice. It will appeal to undergraduate and graduate-level students, academics, activists, policymakers, and members of the public concerned with the impacts and inequalities of climate change in the Majority World.

    Introduction: Climate Justice beyond the Minority World – Towards Decolonial Knowledges

    Kavya Michael, Michael Mikulewicz, and Neil J. W. Crawford


    1. Southern Climate Justice Activism in the Context of an Energy Transition: Forest Rights over Coal in Mahan, Central India

    Ruchira Talukdar and Priya Pillai


    2. Extreme Climatic Events and Climate Change Policies:A Call for Climate Justice Action in Mozambique

    José Maria do Rosário Chilaúle Langa, Natacha Bruna, Boaventura Monjane, Giverage do Amaral, Elton Augusto da Amélia Fé, Bento Paulo Rafael, Patricia Figueiredo Walker, and Patricia E. Perkins


    3. The Intersection of Climate Justice and Agroecology in Puerto Rico Post-Hurricane Maria: Voices from the Ground

    Thelma I. Vélez


    4. ‘I was poor before, but Cyclone Amphan left me destitute’: Disaster Displacement and Support in Bangladesh

    Neil J. W. Crawford, Siddiqur Rahman, Tanzina Nazia, Sennan David Mattar, and Ukegbu Uwa Kalu


    5. The Green Climate Fund as an Elaborate Scheme of Generating Social Harms

    Jessica Omukuti and Aidan O’Sullivan


    6. Climate Justice in Latin America: Mapping the Key Emerging Debates

    Lira Luz Benites Lazaro, Zenaida Luisa Lauda-Rodriguez, Susanne Börner, Andrea Lampis, and Leandro Luiz Giatti


    7. Socioecological Conflicts and Resistances: The Platformization of Climate Justice Activism in Brazil

    Caio Penko Teixeira


    8. Resisting Dispossession and Destruction: Climate (In)justice and Wind Extraction Frontier in the Postcolonial Indian State

    David Singh


    9. The Marginality of the Plainland Indigenous Communities in Climate Change Plans and Finance in Bangladesh

    Siddiqur Rahman and A. K. M. Mamunur Rashid


    10. Ethical Dimensions of Climate and Environmental Issues in Pakistani Media

    Shafiq Ahmad Kamboh, Muhammad Ittefaq, Sadia Jamil, and Bushra Hameedur Rahman


    11. Socioecological Entanglements, Invasive Ecology, and Climate Injustice: A Story of Cape Town, South Africa

    Grace D. O’Donovan


    12. Resisting Narratives of Future Foreclosure: Rethinking Adaptation and Resilience in Favour of Climate Justice in the Maldives

    Africa Bauzà Garcia-Arcicollar


    Conclusion: Towards Justice in Climate Justice Research – Feedback from Chapter Contributors

    Michael Mikulewicz, Kavya Michael, and Neil J. W. Crawford




    Neil J. W. Crawford is a research fellow in climate action and member of the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures, University of Leeds, UK. Their research focuses on forced migration and displacement, refugee rights, climate justice, and the inequalities of climate change, gender and sexuality, and cities.

    Kavya Michael is an environmental-social scientist at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Her research broadly examines environmental change and energy-related issues through a human rights and justice lens. She studies the multiple intersections of climate change, urban inequality, informality, and inter- and intraregional migration with a focus on the Global South.

    Michael Mikulewicz is an assistant professor at the Department of Environmental Studies at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). Michael is a human geographer who applies critical theory to study issues of climate and environmental (in)justice, adaptation, and urban sustainability.

    “An important book on climate justice where a majority of the world lives. It brings vital insights often lost in doomsday tales on climate change – on how people find ways to support each other in times of climate crisis, as in Bangladesh; digital advocacy of social movements in Brazil that shows us how to hold institutions accountable for disasters and how one may grieve, organize and resist in times of crisis. Across the world, these strategies are just as crucial in India where ‘climate friendly projects’ on the age-old-trope of ‘empty wasteland’ continue to threaten the lives of local populations.”

    Seema Arora-Jonsson, Professor in the Division of Rural Development, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

    “A wonderfully illuminating collection that diagnoses the structural drivers of climate injustice – by authors mostly from/of the Majority World. The book intricately weaves together diverse voices, identities, and sites of knowledge production to document the profound consequences of climate change on peoples, cultures, and communities. It asks us to confront the lived realities of neoliberal development, socioeconomic inequalities, and the ongoing trauma of colonization. The book offers an important advancement in our collective effort to decolonize climate justice research and to elevate the contestations, movements, and narratives from communities living on the frontlines of climate change.”

    Eric Chu, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Ecology, University of California, Davis, USA

    “Climate Justice in the Majority World opens new ground in the growing, and increasingly urgent literature on climate justice.  Indeed, we cannot truly know what climate justice means without hearing from authors and places such as those represented, for the first time at such a broad scope, in this volume.”

    Brandon Barclay Derman, Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies, University of Illinois Springfield, USA. Author of Struggles for Climate Justice: Uneven Geographies and the Politics of Connection

    “Climate Justice in the Majority World comprises an eclectic collection of chapters that foreground scholarship from the Majority World. This volume challenges the perceived neutrality of climate change and disaster events, and analyses them through intersections with (neo)colonial extractivist models, neo-liberal development policies, institutional structures, social norms and social identities. It emphasizes the often muted voices in the struggle for climate justice through a depiction of the so-called alternate knowledge frames and innovative movements of resistance and struggles from the Majority World. This volume is an essential read for academics, students, policy makers and practitioners committed to decolonizing climate change and climate justice scholarship.”

    Saleemul Huq, OBE, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and Professor, Independent University, Bangladesh

    “Climate Justice in the Majority World calls out the continuity of the colonial legacy in defining climate injustice in the majority world. The book builds on an interesting set of case studies with an intersectional perspective, representing multiple voices in the discourse - social movement organisers, climate activists, vulnerable communities, among others. The book provides a compelling call for recognition of diverse knowledge frames in the Majority World that are often sidelined in the conversations around transitions to sustainable futures."

    John Paul Jose, Youth Environment and Climate Activist, India

    “Reading this book illuminated my understanding of climate justice in a fresh, new way. I found myself agreeing loudly to statements that resonated deeply as I read Climate Justice in the Majority World. It is my hope that this knowledge will challenge readers into acting better for climate justice.”

    Susan Nanduddu, Executive Director, African Centre for Trade and Development, Uganda

    “Climate Justice in the Majority World is an important read for anyone seeking to better understand climate change as a social and political issue. By putting inequalities and injustices at the center of the analysis, it offers a powerful critique of the conviction that “we’re all in this together”.”

    Diana Ojeda, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Center for Development Studies (Cider), Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

    "A must read book for those interested in climate justice and decolonising climate change. This book presents stories from various places all over the globe, diverse topics in climate change and is written by people of various backgrounds, which provides different points of view. It also highlights important elements in knowledge production processes that perpetuate the gap between the Minority and Majority World. I found myself saying out-loud 'yes, yes, that's the problem, tell me more!'"

    Desy Ayu Pirmasari, Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK

    “Climate Justice in the Majority World puts people at the centre of the climate justice debate. Without explicitly claiming so, it illustrates what peoples’ science perspective on climate change looks like. It unsettles the narratives of equity coming out from the power structures embedded in the Assessment Reports and Gap Reports, and alerts us that the discourse on climate justice must go beyond the macro scientific and economic facts of historical responsibility. The world needs to understand the microcosm of non-linear relationships between scientific facts and social values of communities, and that economic calculations and political institutions must be adjunct to these relationships, not the other way round.”

    Manish Kumar Shrivastava, Senior Fellow, TERI - The Energy and Resources Institute, India

    “This is a highly timely volume that takes a valuable step towards a greater understanding of the inequalities inherent in the climate crisis. Bringing together a range of important perspectives, this edited collection is a call to address the need for epistemic justice in the climate justice literature, and itself adds knowledge that is of use to a range of audiences - academic, policy, and practice-based - and a significant addition to the literature on climate justice.”

    Ali Watson, OBE, Managing Director, Third Generation Project and Professor of International Relations, University of St Andrews, UK