Matching Items (16)

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Addressing International Implications of Adverse Climate Impacts in the Arctic: A Case Study Analysis on the Challenge of Hazardous Waste Reintroduction due to Ice Melt at Camp Century, Greenland

Description

Buried under ice and snow in Greenland, the abandoned Camp Century holds the remnants of a Danish-American Cold War-era operation left to achieve final disposal beneath a tomb of ice.

Buried under ice and snow in Greenland, the abandoned Camp Century holds the remnants of a Danish-American Cold War-era operation left to achieve final disposal beneath a tomb of ice. Nearly 50 years later, climate projections hypothesize that snowmelt will exceed snowfall in 2090—releasing the trapped hazardous wastes at Camp Century. This thesis examines the mechanisms through which the international community is able to remediate climate change impacts on Camp Century wastes. The wastes are characterized and examined as either a problem of transboundary pollution, as an issue of military accountability, or as an issue of climate change policy. As revealed, the wastes are unable to be classified as transboundary pollutants. Though classified as a point-source transboundary risk, they are neither a traded or public risk. Furthermore, no international or domestic transboundary pollution agreements incorporate provisions encompassing the specific attributes of Camp Century’s waste. Camp Century is also not an issue of military accountability as U.S. base cleanup laws and environmental regulations do not apply abroad and as the original bilateral agreement governing the site is insufficient in addressing potential ice melt. Finally, as examined through institutions such as the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, Camp Century is, again, unable to be incorporated in current frameworks such as adaptation as adaption efforts are concentrated on developing nations. This thesis reveals the inability of current frameworks, institutions, and agreements to effectively remediate Camp Century wastes which is a case utilized as a microcosm through which to examine international capacity in addressing climate-change induced impacts.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Youth are the Present: An Analysis on the Different Experiences of Youth Climate Activists and Organizers in Arizona

Description

The goal of this paper is to serve as a case-study of the youth climate movement at the local level, focusing on how young activists and organizers in Arizona perceive

The goal of this paper is to serve as a case-study of the youth climate movement at the local level, focusing on how young activists and organizers in Arizona perceive their pathways, motivators, and barriers in the climate movement. In order to answer my research question of ‘What are the different experiences of Arizona youth activists’ involvement in climate action?’, I conducted a case-study of 15 interviews with participants between the ages of 18-25 that varied in racial and gender identity, as well as the duration of their involvement. While this paper does not present a comprehensive view of all experiences of youth climate activists and organizers in Arizona, these interviews highlight the upbringing, background, and the degree of involvement of young climate organizers and activists, ultimately revealing their similar yet unique experiences in the climate movement. Even though further research, discussion, and opportunities are needed to better understand the youth climate movement as well as other emerging social movements, these participants represent the heart of the movement here in Arizona. This case-study sheds light on lived-experiences and urges readers to consider young climate activists and organizers’ varying perspectives on how to support, amplify, and implement their requests for a livable, intersectional, diverse, and inclusive future.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

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Our Shared Storm: Exploring Five Scenarios of Climate Fiction Futures

Description

This project uses the tools of speculative climate fiction to explore and imagine the future of the United Nations climate negotiations in each of the five Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP)

This project uses the tools of speculative climate fiction to explore and imagine the future of the United Nations climate negotiations in each of the five Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios. Climate fiction (cli-fi) proves a powerful but imperfect tool for envisioning future challenging and turning scientific models into meaningful narratives.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Governing Climate Change Adaptation Through Insurance: Complexity, Risk and Justice Concerns?

Description

Climate adaptation has not kept pace with climate impacts which has formed an adaptation gap. Increasingly insurance is viewed as a solution to close this gap. However, the efficacy and

Climate adaptation has not kept pace with climate impacts which has formed an adaptation gap. Increasingly insurance is viewed as a solution to close this gap. However, the efficacy and implications of using insurance in the climate adaptation space are not clear. Furthermore, past research has focused on specific actors or processes, not on the interactions and interconnections between the actors and the processes. I take a complex adaptive systems approach to map out how these dynamics are shaping adaptation and to interrogate what the insurance climate adaptation literature claims are the successes and pitfalls of insurance driving, enabling or being adaptation. From this interrogation it becomes apparent that insurance has enormous influence on its policy holders, builds telecoupling into local adaptation, and creates structures which support contradictory land use policies at the local level. Based on the influence insurance has on policy holders, I argue that insurance should be viewed as a form of governance. I synthesize insurance, governance and adaptation literature to examine exactly what governance tools insurance uses to exercise this influence and what the consequences may be. This research reveals that insurance may not be the exemplary adaptation approach the international community is hoping for. Using insurance, risk can be reduced without reducing vulnerability, and risk transfer can result in risk displacement which can reduce adaptation incentives, fuel maladaptation, or impose public burdens. Moreover, insurance requires certain information and legal relationships which can and often do structure that which is insured to the needs of insurance and shift authority away from governments to insurance companies or public-private partnerships. Each of these undermine the legitimacy of insurance-led local adaptation and contradict the stated social justice goals of international calls for insurance. Finally, I interrogate the potential justice concerns that emerged through an analysis of insurance as a form of adaptation governance. Using a multi-valent approach to justice I examine a suite of programs intended to support agricultural adaptation through insurance. This analysis demonstrates that although some programs clearly attempted to consider issues of justice, overall these existing programs raise distributional, procedural and recognition justice concerns.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Examining a sustainable approach to global climate change policy

Description

The United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes development as a priority for carbon dioxide (CO2) allocation, under its principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". This was codified

The United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes development as a priority for carbon dioxide (CO2) allocation, under its principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". This was codified in the Kyoto Protocol, which exempt developing nations from binding emission reduction targets. Additionally, they could be the recipients of financed sustainable development projects in exchange for emission reduction credits that the developed nations could use to comply with emission targets. Due to ineffective results, post-Kyoto policy discussions indicate a transition towards mitigation commitments from major developed and developing emitters, likely supplemented by market-based mechanisms to reduce mitigation costs. Although the likelihood of achieving substantial emission reductions is increased by the new plan, there is a paucity of consideration to how an ethic of development might be advanced. Therefore, this research empirically investigates the role that CO2 plays in advancing human development (in terms of the Human Development Index or HDI) over the 1990 to 2010 time period. Based on empirical evidence, a theoretical CO2-development framework is established, which provides a basis for designing a novel policy proposal that integrates mitigation efforts with human development objectives. Empirical evidence confirms that CO2 and HDI are highly correlated, but that there are diminishing returns to HDI as per capita CO2 emissions increase. An examination of development pathways reveals that as nations develop, their trajectories generally become less coupled with CO2. Moreover, the developing countries with the greatest gains in HDI are also nations that have, or are in the process of moving toward, outward-oriented trade policies that involve increased domestic capabilities for product manufacture and export. With these findings in mind, future emission targets should reduce current emissions in developed nations and allow room for HDI growth in developing countries as well as in the least developed nations of the world. Emission trading should also be limited to nations with similar HDI levels to protect less-developed nations from unfair competition for capacity building resources. Lastly, developed countries should be incentivized to invest in joint production ventures within the LDCs to build capacity for self-reliant and sustainable development over the long-term.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Organizational learning for climate change adaptation: a case study of four NGOs in India

Description

For a country like India which is highly vulnerable to climate change, the need to focus on adaptation in tandem with traditional development is immense, as the two are inextricably

For a country like India which is highly vulnerable to climate change, the need to focus on adaptation in tandem with traditional development is immense, as the two are inextricably tied together. As a prominent actor working at the intersection of these two fields, NGOs need to be prepared for the emerging challenges of climate change. While research indicates that investments in learning can be beneficial for this purpose, there are limited studies looking into organizational learning within NGOs working on climate change adaptation. This study uses a multiple case study design to explore learning mechanisms, and trace learning over time within four development NGOs working on climate change adaptation in India. These insights could be useful for development NGOs looking to enhance their learning to meet the challenges of climate change. More broadly, this research adds to the understanding of the role of learning in climate change adaptation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Recovery and adaptation in post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico: local and government perspectives

Description

Disasters represent disruptions to stability and offer lessons about how climate adaptation is negotiated and acted on. Viewing adaptation as a negotiation helps understand recovery not just as actions taken

Disasters represent disruptions to stability and offer lessons about how climate adaptation is negotiated and acted on. Viewing adaptation as a negotiation helps understand recovery not just as actions taken to minimize harm, but a reflection of values and motivations surrounding adaptation. This research elicits these perspectives and considers them as part of an ongoing agreement for disaster recovery and adaptation in Puerto Rico. Previous research has characterized recovery as an opportunity for rethinking societal arrangements for climate adaptation and highlights the importance of how adaptation is conceptualized across actors. This study builds on past research by using distinct perspectives to understand recovery as an adaptation process and a co-production of a new ‘social contract’ after Hurricane Maria. Community interviews and government documents are analyzed to understand who is involved, where change is happening, and what resources are necessary for success. The purpose of this is to consider distinct framings of recovery and adaptation, and what these contribute to long-term change. Community interviews give a perspective of local stability and show capacities for immediate and long-term recovery. Similarly, government documents discuss managing foundational vulnerabilities like infrastructure, while navigating recovery given geographical and economic obstacles. Findings show that self-organization and harnessing social capital are crucial components of recovery in the Corcovada community after Maria. They rely on bonding and bridging social capital to mobilize resources and reduce vulnerabilities for future threats. This transformative approach was also present in official recovery documents, though political and economic change were stressed as necessary for stability, along with modernizing infrastructure. While recovery documents suggest connecting physical and social resilience, community residents have cultivated this connection long before Maria. Unlike in Corcovada, the government of Puerto Rico is only starting to view disruptions as windows of opportunity and therefore mention plans for transformation but don’t present actions taken. Further, the reality of vulnerable infrastructural, political and economic systems greatly affects recovery both in Corcovada and across the island. Both perspectives will likely affect actions taken in Puerto Rico and recognizing these unique framings of stability can help design transformative, adaptive social contracts for facing future threats.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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A comparison of Los Angeles and Phoenix homeowners' attitudes and behaviors towards outdoor water conservation

Description

Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona are two naturally water-scarce regions that rely on imported water to meet their local water needs. Both areas have been experiencing an ongoing drought

Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona are two naturally water-scarce regions that rely on imported water to meet their local water needs. Both areas have been experiencing an ongoing drought that has negatively affected their local water supply. Populations in both cities continue to grow, increasing overall demand for water as the supply decreases. Water conservation is important for the sustainability of each town. However, the methods utilized to conserve residential water in the two areas differ drastically; Los Angeles has implemented involuntary water rationing and Phoenix has not.

The widespread effectiveness of involuntary restrictions makes them a popular management scheme. Despite their immediate effectiveness, little is known about how involuntary restrictions affect attitudinal precursors towards the behavior in question and thus, whether or not the restrictions are potentially helpful or harmful to lasting behavior change. This study adapted the Theory of Planned Behavior to survey 361 homeowners in Los Angeles and Phoenix to examine how involuntary water restrictions shape attitudinal precursors to outdoor water conservation.

This study found that when involuntary water restrictions are present, residents feel less in control of their outdoor water use. However, in the presence of involuntary water restrictions, stronger social norms and stronger support for policy prescriptions over outdoor water use were found. The favorable societal support towards water conservation, conceptualized as social norms and policy attitudes, in the presence of involuntary water restrictions is potentially promising for lasting behavior change.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Practicing democracy: improving participatory technology assessment for sustainability challenges

Description

Participatory approaches to policy-making and research are thought to “open up” technical decision-making to broader considerations, empower diverse public audiences, and inform policies that address pluralistic public goods. Many studies

Participatory approaches to policy-making and research are thought to “open up” technical decision-making to broader considerations, empower diverse public audiences, and inform policies that address pluralistic public goods. Many studies of participatory efforts focus on specific features or outcomes of those efforts, such as the format of a participatory event or the opinions of participants. While valuable, such research has not resolved conceptual problems and critiques of participatory efforts regarding, for example, their reinforcement of expert perspectives or their inability to impact policy- and decision-making. I studied two participatory efforts using survey data collected from participants, interviews with policy makers and experts associated with each project, and an analysis of project notes, meeting minutes, and my own personal reflections about each project. Both projects were based one type of participatory effort called Participatory Technology Assessment (pTA). I examined how project goals, materials, and the values, past experiences, and judgments of practitioners influenced decisions that shaped two participatory efforts to better understand how practitioners approached the challenges associated with participatory efforts.

I found four major themes that influenced decisions about these projects: Promoting learning; building capacity to host pTA events; fostering good deliberation; and policy relevance. Project organizers engaged in iterative discussions to negotiate how learning goals related to dominant ideas from policy and expert communities and frequently reflected on the impact of participatory efforts on participants and on broader socio-political systems. Practitioners chose to emphasize criteria for deliberation that were flexible and encompassing. They relied heavily on internal discussions about materials and format, and on feedback collected from participants, policy makers, and other stakeholders, to shape both projects, though some decisions resulted in unexpected and undesirable outcomes for participant discussions and policy relevance. Past experience played a heavy role in many decisions about participatory format and concerns about deliberative or participatory theory were only nominally present. My emphasis on understanding the practice of participatory efforts offers a way to reframe research on participatory efforts away from studying ‘moments’ of participation to studying the larger role participatory efforts play in socio-political systems.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Climate change induced migration: loss and damage as a tool to address future challenges

Description

Human migration is not a new phenomenon but present and future human-induced environmental changes pose new questions and challenges. In the coming years, both rapid and slow onset environmental

Human migration is not a new phenomenon but present and future human-induced environmental changes pose new questions and challenges. In the coming years, both rapid and slow onset environmental changes will drive many people to migrate in search of improved security and livelihoods. Anthropogenic climate change in particular requires international institutions to determine how to best meet the needs of present and future migrants. I analyzed interviews with experts to identify institutional gaps for managing environmental migration and what potential, if any, the Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts (WIM) might contribute to filling these gaps. Using these interviews and literature, I propose a framework to assess the capacity of existing institutions to address the breadth of migrant needs. Then, I identify gaps and challenges in order to illuminate strategies for future solutions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015