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Transcript
Dimensions of climate
justice
John O’Neill, University of Manchester
Monday, 19 May 2014
Dimensions of climate Justice
A number of distinct dimensions of justice have been
raised by climate change and policy responses to it
1. Unequal responsibilities: who bears greater
responsibility for the emissions of greenhouse gases?
2. Unequal impacts of climate change: who is more
adversely affected by the extreme weather events
that will increase in frequency and intensity?
3. Unequal impacts of policy responses: who benefits
and who bears the costs and burdens of mitigation
and adaptation policy?
4. Procedural justice: who has the power to make and
affect policy responses to climate change?
Scope of Climate Justice
•
•
•
•
International
National
Intra-generational
Intergenerational
What does the evidence tell us
about climate injustice in the UK?
Low income households and other disadvantaged groups
in the UK face multiple injustices as they:
•contribute the least to causing climate change through
their emissions
•are likely to be most negatively affected by climate
impacts
•pay, as a proportion of income, the most towards
implementation of certain policy responses
•often benefit least from those same policies
•are less able to participate in decision-making around
policy responses and in determining practice
Preston et al (2014) Climate Change and Social Justice: A Evidence Review
1. Responsibilities for emissions
Emissions of the richest 10% of the population are over 3 times
higher than those of the lowest 10%. The differences in
emissions are particularly wide in relation to private transport, in
particular air travel.
Preston, I., et al 2013 Distribution of Carbon Emissions in the UK:
Implications for Domestic Energy Policy JRF York
Responsibilities for emissions
From Gough et al. 2011 The distribution of total
greenhouse gas emissions by households in the UK, CASE
LSE
GHG per £
From S. Abdallah et al. 2011 The distribution of total greenhouse gas emissions by households in the UK,
and some implications for social policy CASE LSE
More Unequal Countries Emit More C02
From: Wilkinson RG, Pickett KE. The impact of income inequalities on sustainable development in London.
A report written on behalf of The Equality Trust, commissioned by the London Sustainable Development Commission, 2010, http://www.londonsdc.org/lsdc/research.aspx.
2. Adverse impacts of climate change
How disadvantaged
different individuals or
groups are to extreme
weather events will
depend on two factors:
• Exposure: The
likelihood and degree to
which they are to be
exposed to the
outcomes of an
extreme weather event
such as drought, flood
or heatwave.
• Vulnerability: the
likelihood and degree to
which the event will
result in a loss of wellbeing.
What makes people and neighbourhoods
socially vulnerable to extreme weather events?
• An individual or group is more
vulnerable if they are less able
to respond to stresses placed
on well-being.
• To understand the distribution
of vulnerability we need to
know what factors are relevant
to understanding how external
stresses convert into changes
in well-being.
Personal factors: Biophysical
characteristics of people such as
age or health
Environmental factors: Physical
attributes of neighbourhoods,
such as green space and drainage,
the quality and elevation of
housing
Social factors: Social
characteristics of people and
neighbourhoods such as
•levels of income and inequality
•social networks and individuals’
degree of social isolation
•fear of crime
3. Impact of policy responses
Despite having lower emissions, lower income households bear a greater
burden of the costs of policies for example on mitigation and receive fewer of
the benefits
• Mitigation policy to lower emissions funded through levies and charges on
gas and electricity bills form a higher proportion of the expenditure of
lower income households
• Schemes, such as the feed in tariff for home-based renewables, are only
available to higher income households with funds or the means to borrow
Preston, I. et al 2013 Distribution of Carbon Emissions in the UK: Implications
for Domestic Energy Policy JRF York
4. Procedural justice
Procedural justice concerns the justice in the procedures
through which decisions are made:
•Who has the power and voice to frame and influence decisions?
•Do different decision making procedures systematically favour
some groups over others?
All
0
%
15
1-4
%
52
4+
%
33
Class
Professional and managerial
Intermediate
Manual
8
14
18
45
51
58
47
36
24
Income
Under £10,000
£10,000 up to £19,999
£20,000 up to £29,999
£30,000 up to £39,999
£40,000 up to £49,999
£50,000 and above
19
15
10
10
9
3
56
54
51
47
41
43
25
31
39
44
50
54
Education
15 years and under
16-18
19 years and over
19
15
7
Number of political actions
57
42
43
© Environment Agency
24
33
50
Levels of participation are correlated with income and occupation Pattie, C., Seyd, P. and
Whiteley P. (2004) Citizenship in Britain Cambridge: Cambridge University Press p.86
The distribution of voice and influence
• Levels of participation in political action and civil
society associations are closely correlated with
income and occupation
• Engaging vulnerable communities in decisions that
affect them can help address both procedural justice
and foster the development of more resilient
communities
Pattie, C., Seyd, P. and Whiteley P. (2004) Citizenship in Britain Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press
Decision making procedures
• Decision making methods are not just
technical tools. Their use can have
implications for the distribution of
benefits and burdens of policy.
• Cost benefit analysis (CBA) is widely
used as a way of assessing different
policies. In the context of climate
change and justice it is deeply
controversial.
• Standard CBA places lower monetary
values on adverse impacts on lower
income groups and future
generations. Those worst affected by
climate change and least responsible
count least.
Why is cost-benefit analysis controversial?
• Since a £ is worth more for a person on
lower income, in a standard CBA the values
placed on costs of burdens on the poor are
lower than those on the wealthy, while the
values placed on the benefits of distributing
goods to the wealthy are higher.
• The value of a statistical life in standard
CBA for a poor person is lower than that for
a rich person.
• ‘Discounting’ in CBA involves putting a
lower value on future costs and benefits:
the further in the future the lower the
value will be; the higher the discount rate,
the lower
will future values be.
© Environment Agency
Conclusion
• Lower income and other disadvantaged
groups contribute least to causing climate
change but are most likely to be adversely
impacted by its effects
• How disadvantaged a person or group will be
with respect to potential losses in well-being
will be a function of two distinct factors, their
likelihood and degree of exposure to extreme
weather events and their vulnerability.
© Environment Agency
It is vital that other responses take account of the inherent inequalities in the ways people are
affected by events like floods