Climate Justice

Climate Justice research focuses on the distributional, procedural, and recognitional disparities that exist between distinct populations. Distribution refers to the placement of environmental goods (e.g. parks, greenways, and forests) and bads (e.g. toxic waste, dumping grounds, and food deserts) on the landscape. Procedure refers to the inclusion of diverse groups in government processes and policy. Recognition addresses the needs and barriers within unique social contexts of distinct groups and individuals. These three categories are used to describe equity and justice for climate change adaptation. However, there is need to link climate justice with resilience to address climate readiness instead of solely impact and post disaster foci. For example, in rural areas, higher levels of poverty–which is correlated to lower CO2 emissions–create an issue of fairness for adaptation to climate change. In eastern North Carolina, many rural residents are challenged to maintain traditional livelihoods–as policy favors beach tourism destinations for storm recovery and adaptation–despite having emitted very little as individuals. I am interested in analyzing policy that leads to disparities in climate change adaptation needs and threat exposure between diverse communities through local voices.