Table of Contents

Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security

Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security

Elgar original reference

Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Marco Grasso

The Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security is a landmark publication which links the complexities of climate change to the wellbeing and resilience of human populations. It is written in an engaging and accessible way but also conveys the state of the art on both climate change research and work into human security, utilizing both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Organized around thematic sections, each chapter is written by an acknowledged expert in the field, and discusses the key concepts and evidence base for our current policy choices, and the dilemmas of international policy in the field. The Handbook is unique in containing sophisticated ethical and moral questions as well as new information and data from different geographical regions. It is a timely volume that makes the case for acting wisely now to avert impending crises and global environmental problems.

Chapter 12: Climate change and human security in Africa

Sharath Srinivasan and Elizabeth E. Watson

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental geography, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


An examination of climate change and human security debates in and about Africa raises questions about representation and the politics of knowledge. Africa, as a continent, holds a special place in debates about climate change and human security: if human security is understood as living a life of dignity, enjoying freedom from want and freedom from fear, then it is in Africa that global climate change is seen as most likely to compromise personal and human security. There, ‘unfreedom’ from want and ‘unfreedom’ from fear are commonly seen as connected in a vicious circle of violence and destitution. In IPCC and other documents, Africa is held up as the continent that is least responsible for climate change, but is likely to feel the worst of its impacts. High levels of poverty, environmental degradation, weak governance and dependence on natural resources in Africa mean that climate change is seen as likely to devastate livelihoods that are already vulnerable (Boko et al. 2007).

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