Seven Principles for Equitable Adaptation
13 Sustainable Development Law & Policy 41 (2013)
10 Pages Posted: 3 May 2013 Last revised: 20 May 2013
Date Written: May 1, 2013
Given the inevitability of serious climate impacts, climate change adaptation is becoming an urgent priority. Policy makers at the local, regional, state, and federal level are struggling to determine how to parlay existing authorities and develop new measures to avoid future calamity.
Successful adaptation will require not only attention to physical infrastructure, but to the underlying socioeconomic conditions that strongly determine the severity of climate impacts. Given the importance of underlying socioeconomic factors, this essay argues that equity should be a central feature of emerging domestic climate adaptation initiatives. It suggests seven principles for achieving equitable adaptation, principles designed to improve substantive adaptation outcomes, ensure meaningful participation, and grapple with underlying inequities.
This essay is a shorter version of “Domestic Climate Change Adaptation and Equity,” a longer article that includes a more detailed discussion of projected climate impacts and their equity implications.
Keywords: climate change, global warming, adaptation, environmental justice, climate justice, disasters, public health
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