Environment and Sustainability > Climate Change

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This paper offers a novel analysis of how Nepal is delivering its commitment to secondary education provision that is advancing environmental sustainability, tracing a trajectory that begins with national policies relating to environmental sustainability and incorporating the national curriculum framework, textbooks, pedagogies used in classrooms, and learner experiences and anticipated actions. We consider Nepal’s education about and for environmental sustainability in the context of theories of environmental justice, and question if and how secondary provision might promote the behavioural change that Nepal recognises is vital for environmental sustainability. Qualitative data were generated through policy analysis, critical content analysis of secondary-level curriculum and textbooks, classroom observations, semi-structured interviews with 15 teachers and 4 headteachers, and a range of in-person activities with 24 students in purposively selected four community secondary schools in the three diverse locations across Nepal. The results illuminate pronounced disconnections across modalities that indicate incoherence and unresolved debates in the underlying narrative of what environmental sustainability is and the role of education in addressing it. Our findings suggest that learners’ ideas, opinions, thinking and experiences should be encouraged and celebrated in the classroom to aid learners in translating conceptual learning into practical, sustainable behaviours, as well as to contribute to environmental justice. The findings appeal to the concerned stakeholders for their consideration of future policy and programme development that promotes environmental justice through education and establishes a connection between classroom learning and students’ lived experiences through a participatory approach, collaboration, and critical and creative thinking.

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Education is often posed as the harbinger of progress in discourses related to the development of marginalised Indigenous communities. However, since they entered the mainstream schools in the 1960s, the four Indigenous communities of Gudalur, India have experienced various forms of injustice in seeking formal education. This article draws from the work of the Vishwa Bharati Vidyodaya Trust, a community-driven organisation that has been working on matters related to the education of these four communities since 1996, and two research initiatives that captures the community’s voices on their experiences and aspirations related to education, to put forth recommendations for practice that is geared towards greater equality and justice for the children of Indigenous communities. Rooted in the belief that the active participation of the community is crucial to devising solutions that truly address in a sustainable manner the historical injustices faced by them, the article outlines various interventions at different sites of learning that builds community ownership and nurtures a meaningful continuum between the home and school environment of the children.

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This paper explores how Ugandan secondary school learners experience schooling in English-medium schools where the use of English only is strictly enforced. We conceptualise the ways that the learners sit at the intersection of direct, systemic and cultural violence that in turn impacts their educational experiences. We particularly focus on instances of direct violence through corporal punishment, and the ways that such violence, and associated fear, are part of many learners’ everyday schooling experiences. We demonstrate this through presentation of findings from thematic analysis of individual and focus group interviews with 64 learners at two public and two private secondary schools in the Amuru and Kitgum districts of Northern Uganda. Our conclusions advocate for greater attention to be paid to the ways that changes to enforced English-only policies could support more positive well-being and educational outcomes.

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This paper draws on findings from the JustEd study to discuss the shallow pedagogies that have emerged in Peru in the context of learner-centred and outcomes-based reforms that have been poorly implemented in a context with many limitations in terms of policy orientations, resources, and teacher training and support. These pedagogies promote little to no critical thinking, are disconnected from students’ experiences and do not encourage them to problematise reality nor to grasp complexity. Such pedagogies constitute a form of epistemic injustice in that they do not help to develop students’ capacity to participate as equals in the consumption and production of knowledge. Through this, these pedagogies also limit education’s potential contributions to justice, peace and sustainability. Our discussion of shallow pedagogies leads us to articulate some more positive elements of what rich and just pedagogies might entail.

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All international agreements recognise that sustainable development, equity and poverty alleviation are preconditions for the substantial societal and technological transformations required to limit global warming to 1.5°C. A growing body of literature indicates that while climate change undermines the progress of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate actions also pose several trade-offs with them. Climate adaptation has a largely synergistic relationship with SDGs across various socio-economic contexts. However, climate mitigation’s relationship with SDGs is far more complex. While the need to decarbonise is universal, the pathways to deliver deep decarbonisation vary across contexts and scales and are located within the local socio-economic realities besides local environmental factors. This paper argues that (1) climate mitigation measures in countries like India – with rising income inequality and high social diversity in caste, religion and region – need a tailored assessment approach, (2) carefully mediating climate mitigation measures – like deep decarbonisation – at the local level is crucial to enable transformative change required to meet the Paris Agreement and the UN Agenda 2030, (3) enabling ‘just’ deep decarbonisation or SDG-enabled decarbonisation at the local level requires addressing unmet needs of the vulnerable population even at the cost of increased emissions, and (4) sector-specific decarbonisation strategies at the national level must be translated into the local area’s social, economic, environmental and institutional realities. This paper grounds this approach using the example of the transport sector and applies it in a mid-sized city of India, Udaipur, to illustrate the argument.

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This piece elaborates on a ‘new way of thinking’ (Einstein, 1946) that would contribute to overcoming the challenge of climate change and its impacts. This ‘new way’ will have us go beyond using facts and figures alone to persuade and cajole. It will have us stretching our moral imagination (Johnson, 2016) and empathising with people very different from ourselves. It will have us investing in processes of exchange which support the co-creation of knowledge and the future we want together.

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As the study of climate change litigation continues to emerge as a scholarly field, the conversation about the characteristics of litigation in Global South countries is still nascent. The meaning and identity of climate litigation, and the scholarly response to it, are mostly shaped around the priorities and pressures of Global North countries. But why does pursuing, and asserting, an African identity of climate litigation matter? The answer to this question lies in an understanding of what it means to pursue a ‘global’ endeavour, but also in an understanding of the dignity of African scholars, practitioners and activists in the face of the climate crisis.

This book spans a range of approaches and jurisdictions and aims to make a relevant yet lasting volume of reflective contributions both in relation to transnational, regional and local climate litigation scholarship, but also to our understanding of the plural nature of climate justice and climate governance. This chapter introduces the authors and the main themes of the book.

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In Nigeria, many citizens are quite vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. This has been exacerbated by a plethora of factors not limited to poverty, the activities of multinational oil and gas companies and endemic environmental injustice issues in many parts of the country, especially the Niger Delta region (wherein the oil and gas industry is located). The impacts of climate change will have negative consequences on Nigerians (especially in the Niger Delta).

This chapter relies on climate justice as its analytical lens. Climate justice initiatives can be used to improve access to justice and protect climate change victims in Nigeria. The chapter also highlights some of the recent reforms or initiatives by the Nigerian government in improving climate justice in the country. This chapter discusses the potential of climate change litigation in Nigeria as one of the strategies that can be used in ventilating climate justice issues in the country. In concluding, this chapter proffers some recommendations on how climate litigation can help to protect the victims of climate change in Nigeria.

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Climate change displacement litigation within the context of human rights and refugee law is severely lacking on the African continent. This chapter points to a gap in the current regional legal architecture for affording long lasting and enduring – or even temporary – legal safeguards to those individuals and communities affected by environmental or climate change-induced displacement and migration. There is an increasing need to formulate mechanisms and systems that can bridge this protection gap, particularly as climate displacement and migration is and will continue to affect the entire the Africa region. The chapter argues that this can be achieved through the adoption of universally applicable human rights standards, and a human rights-based approach that takes into account and recognizes environmental or climate change-induced migration and forced human displacement as a legitimate basis for extending refugee law-based protections to the affected individuals. The chapter concludes that the African region needs to develop and extend the reach of refugee law using human rights-based approaches in order to make effective climate change displacement strategic litigation.

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Climate change litigation is growing around the world in general and in common law African countries in particular, but there is no ‘trend’ of climate cases in civil law African countries. This chapter presents the causes that limit the development of climate change litigation in civil law African countries – but it also highlights the civil society organizations that aim to further climate justice.

The chapter focuses on Cameroon in the Congo Basin. It shows the legal obstacles that prevent the development of climate litigation and the potentialities that exist. From the research it appears that access to justice is restricted in Cameroon, as standing is conditional and so only some legal entities can bring environmental cases. However, civil society organizations are doing important work on the ground to protect the environment and contribute to climate justice through advocacy and monitoring of natural resources management. Even though climate litigation could be brought by entities like decentralized public collectives, the monitoring and advocacy work done by civil society organizations to enhance climate justice in Cameroon should not be overlooked.

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