Climate Change and Human Security

Climate Change and Human Security

The Challenge to Local Governance under Rapid Coastal Urbanization

Michael R. Redclift, David Manuel-Navarette and Mark Pelling

The challenge presented by climate change is, by its nature, global. The populations of the Mexican Caribbean, the focus of this book, are faced by everyday decisions not unlike those in the urban North. The difference is that for the people of the Mexican Caribbean evidence of the effects of climate change, including hurricanes, is very familiar to them. This important study documents the choices and risks of people who are powerless to change the economic development model which is itself forcing climate change.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Michael R. Redclift, David Manuel-Navarette and Mark Pelling

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental geography, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy, urban and regional studies, urban studies

Extract

The majority of the world’s population and physical assets are urban based, yet little is known of the ways in which competing visions and manifestations of urbanization affect the social distribution of environmental risk associated with climate change, and the opportunities for new policies to improve human security in coastal zones. Globally, climate perturbations exacerbated by global warming carry important implications for human security, especially in coastal locations. Among the most important of these perturbations is the increased severity of hurricaneforce storms. This book investigates social and political capacity, and action taken to adapt to the risks and impacts of hurricanes, drawing on our research from an area that is increasingly at the ‘front line’ of global climate change: the Mexican Caribbean coast (see Figure 1.1) (ESRC grant RES-062-23-0367). It compares the impact of changes in governance regimes, under rapid urbanization, on local adaptive capacity and the actions undertaken by state, non-state and individual actors, against the background of the historical development of the region, focusing on the tourist industry. The book concentrates on the development of social capital and the uses to which this is put under pressure from risk and impacts of extreme climatic events. We seek to develop a theoretical framework and an empirical evidence base to explore the effect of rapid urbanization, human migration and changes to local governance regimes on the geographical and social distributions of vulnerability, adaptive capacity and risk in highly hazardous coastal regions. Thus the book opens a research frontier on to...