Commonality Among Unique Indigenous Communities: An Introduction to Climate Change and Its Impacts on Indigenous Peoples
17 Pages Posted: 22 May 2013
Date Written: May 21, 2013
This article is part of a special issue of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal exploring how climate change affects the rights of indigenous peoples. Climate change is a global environmental problem caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Indigenous peoples generally contribute very limited quantities of greenhouse gas emissions to the global atmosphere. Although the causes of climate change are global, the adverse impacts of this problem are disproportionately burdening indigenous peoples. In recognition of the growing global problem of climate change, legal strategies to address climate change through mitigation and adaptation have been undertaken. This special issue as well as this article recognize that indigenous peoples are particularly vulnerable to climate change, both physically and legally, and addresses the challenges that these communities face in responding to climate change impacts. Although indigenous communities throughout the world differ, Part II of this article addresses some of the commonalities generally found among indigenous peoples in greater depth. Part III of this article addresses three of these legal responses being utilized by indigenous communities: (1) law suits based on procedural rights, (2) law suits based on common law legal principles, and (3) law suits based on public international law.
Keywords: climate change, indigenous, Indian country, Native American, American Indian, tribe, Indian, global warming
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