The Search for Legal Remedies
Edited by Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk
Chapter 18: Islands in the stream: addressing climate change from a small island developing state perspective
Climate change, by definition, knows no earthly metes or boundaries. It is a phenomenon that afflicts all countries and all peoples, altering environmental habitats, raising energy costs and threatening the lives of everyone, particularly indigenous peoples in underdeveloped countries who typically contribute very little to the root causes of the phenomenon. Tragically, this global danger is not being confronted with a united global front. Developed countries (particularly the United States) and large developing countries (particularly the BASIC quartet – Brazil, South Africa, India and China) have largely succeeded in avoiding binding emissions reductions targets and shifting the burden of reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) to less-developed countries. The result is a grave miscarriage of climate justice, a preserving of the economic status quo at the expense of peoples – typically indigenous peoples – who are the least responsible for the dire dangers they face.
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