The Impact of Climate Change on American and Canadian Indigenous Peoples and Their Water Resources: A Climate Justice Perspective

31 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2016 Last revised: 13 Jul 2017

Itzchak E. Kornfeld

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 31, 2016

Abstract

This chapter in an upcoming book on Climate Justice initially discusses the status of American and Canadian indigenous communities and focuses on specific tribes in North America. Following a brief introduction of Canadian and American indigenous peoples, this chapter addresses the threats faced by these communities as a consequence of climate change. The chapter then gives a description of case law and international law instruments that these indigenous peoples may employ in pursuing legal avenues to vindicate their rights, specifically the right to water, in light of global warming and the loss of their lands and way of life. It then highlights the fact that indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States, who live in extra-rural reservations and in remote and climate-vulnerable locations, will suffer much more than the non-indigenous populations in cities and the suburbs.

Finally, the chapter offers some suggestions for mitigation and adaptation measures for these indigenous communities. These recommendations for reform include decreasing fossil fuel consumption through government action, imposing responsibility on corporations to reduce their carbon footprint and impact on human rights, and utilizing environmental justice case law precedent.

Keywords: Climate Change, Right to Water, Climate Justice, Indigenous Peoples, Canada, United States, Human Rights

JEL Classification: H77, I10, I14, K10, K30, K32, K33, K42, N40, N42, N90, N92, O13, O43, O44, P28, P37, Q28, Q54

Suggested Citation

Kornfeld, Itzchak E., The Impact of Climate Change on American and Canadian Indigenous Peoples and Their Water Resources: A Climate Justice Perspective (August 31, 2016). Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper No. 17-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2832879

Itzchak E. Kornfeld (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus, 91905
Israel

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