Chapter 12: Indigenous peoples, climate change loss and damage, and the responsibilities of states
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The Warsaw Mechanism certainly seeks to articulate loss and damage relating to Indigenous peoples and other populations. Yet Indigenous peoples have articulated different understandings of the nature and causes of loss and damage. Indigenous peoples, including in their testimonies in scientific reports, point to the ways in which loss and damage are tied to colonial, capitalist, and industrial structures. These structures have terraformed ecosystems in ways that make Indigenous peoples today vulnerable to climate change impacts that arguably would have not been as risky for their ancestors. This chapter suggests that states, such as the U.S., Canada, and numerous nations and states globally, have responsibilities to Indigenous peoples to address loss and damage. This chapter describes two kinds of responsibility, impending and pending. Impending responsibility requires states to live up to the ramifications of developmental paths that they continue to pursue and that are at odds with Indigenous cultural and political self-determination. Yet concepts of impending responsibility can tend to propose solutions that remain silent on the underlying political relations between Indigenous peoples and states that threaten the viability of such solutions. Pending responsibility demands that states acknowledge that today's political relations with Indigenous peoples descend from colonial, capitalist, and industrial structures designed to limit Indigenous adaptation to environmental change. Pending responsibility requires states to engage in long needed processes of political reconciliation with Indigenous peoples that would restructure such political relations.

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