Climate change adaptation Climate change mitigation Environment & Human Development Political ecology REDD+

Climate policies, natural resources and conflict: Implications for development

The journal Climate Policy has published a new special issue focused on climate change policies, natural resources management and conflict, and the linkages of these policies and processes with development in the global South. Guest edited by Dik Roth (Wageningen University), Courtney Work (National Chengchi University) and myself, the special issue encompasses eight articles which engage critically with REDD+, renewable energy, and adaptation and resilience interventions, among others.

The collection reveals that certain hegemonic discourses, practices and structures of power related to development, resource access, and resource use can emerge, persist or even intensify through climate change policies and interventions. The contributions show the ways in which the often-well-intended climate change-informed discourses, policies and practices intersect with ongoing struggles over resources, energy access, land, water and ‘space’, particularly when these are unlikely to have a climatic cause, and to explore how such intersections ignite, fuel or transform (existing) conflicts or social cooperation. The papers also provide robust evidence about the fact that climate change policies alone, even when mainstreamed into other sectoral policy domains, may not be able to turn upside down entrenched power relations, transform governance systems characterized by great inertia, or redress social injustices.

The special issue is open access and can be accessed here:

Picture: A sawmill from CDM-reforestation trees in Cambodia. Copyright Courtney Work.