Adapting agriculture to a changing climate: a social justice perspective

In Hanna Schübel & Ivo Wallimann-Helmer (eds.), Justice and food security in a changing climate. Wageningen Academic Publishers. pp. 31-35 (2021)
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We are already past the point where climate change mitigation alone does not suffice and major efforts need to be undertaken to adapt agriculture to climate change. As this situation was both foreseeable and avoidable, it is urgent to see that particularly people who have historically contributed the least to climate change do not end up assuming most of the costs. Climate change will have the worst effects on agriculture in the tropical region in the form of droughts, extreme heat waves and massive storms. The historical unequal contributions to climate change and its unjustly distributed consequences morally oblige us to distribute global adaptation costs fairly. Yet to have a full understanding of the social implications of adapting to climate change we need to look beyond making adaptation technologies accessible and available. Using a social justice framework, I defend fair prices of adaptation technologies as a demand of justice in exchange, an allocation of research attention proportional to urgent global needs as distributive justice, inclusive technology development and governance as contributive justice and addressing the interests of future generations as intergenerational justice.

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Cristian Timmermann
Universität Augsburg


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