Table of Contents

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples

The Search for Legal Remedies

Edited by Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk

Indigenous peoples occupy a unique niche within the climate justice movement, as many indigenous communities live subsistence lifestyles that are severely disrupted by the effects of climate change. Additionally, in many parts of the world, domestic law is applied differently to indigenous peoples than it is to their non-indigenous peers, further complicating the quest for legal remedies. The contributors to this book bring a range of expert legal perspectives to this complex discussion, offering both a comprehensive explanation of climate change-related problems faced by indigenous communities and a breakdown of various real world attempts to devise workable legal solutions. Regions covered include North and South America (Brazil, Canada, the US and the Arctic), the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia), Australia and New Zealand, Asia (China and Nepal) and Africa (Kenya).

Chapter 1: Commonality among unique indigenous communities: an introduction to climate change and its impacts on indigenous peoples

Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, human rights, law and development, politics and public policy, human rights


This book explores how climate change affects the rights of indigenous peoples. Climate change is a global environmental problem caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Although the causes of this problem are global, the adverse impacts of climate change are disproportionately burdening indigenous peoples. In recognition of the growing global problem of climate change, legal strategies to address climate change through mitigation and adaptation have been undertaken. This book recognizes that indigenous peoples are particularly vulnerable to climate change, both physically and legally, and addresses the challenges that these communities face in responding to climate change impacts. The term ‘indigenous peoples’ covers a widely diverse group of people within which no two communities of indigenous peoples are the same. Nevertheless, there are some commonalities that exist between groups of indigenous peoples.