Justice in the era of climate change

Authored by: Tahseen Jafry , Michael Mikulewicz , Karin Helwig

Routledge Handbook of Climate Justice

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138689350
eBook ISBN: 9781315537689
Adobe ISBN:


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On April 17, 2017, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide (CO2) reading that exceeded 410 parts per million (ppm), a concentration of the greenhouse gas (GHG) not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for at least 3 million years (Lindsey, 2017). Moreover, climatologists predict that, if unaddressed, humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels is likely to further increase CO2 concentration to levels from the early Eocene – or over 50 million years ago (Foster et al., 2017). It is thus no surprise that temperature data from NASA shows rapid warming in the past few decades, with 2016 being the warmest on record (Cook et al., 2016). Meanwhile, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) highlights that the rapidly increasing atmospheric levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have the potential to initiate unprecedented changes in climate systems, leading to “severe ecological and economic disruptions” (WMO, 2017, p. 1).

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