Nature, capital and climate justice: interconnected crises, rights-based approaches and the imperative for radical change

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Jefferson, Patrick Gergő
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The need for climate justice has never been more apparent. Despite the universalising narratives of human behaviour that dominate much of climate related discourse and action, responsibilities for and vulnerabilities to climate change are not borne equally. This thesis seeks to comprehend how constructions of nature, shaped through power and capital, continue to mask and manifest these differentiated responsibilities and vulnerabilities. The thesis delineates the underlying constructions of nature and our ecological relationship to inform our actions towards climate justice. In doing so, the paradigms of the Capitalocene and Racial Capitalism are deployed. The existence of sacrifice zones and ‘green sacrifice zones’ are then placed in this context. The thesis critically analyses rights-based approaches to climate change. Specifically, it focuses on the rights of nature as expressed in Ecuador, Bolivia and Aotearoa-New Zealand. These examples are relevant as they are fundamental reorganisations of how nature is conceived and governed, and how people fit into this arrangement. Investigating their strengths and failures are therefore key insights into potential climate justice driven actions.
Second semester University: University of Coimbra
climate justice, climatic changes, capitalism, nature