Published 17 August 2020
Climate change has now fully entered the human psyche evident in the growing media coverage of climate protests around the world and acknowledgement of a climate emergency by governments and public organizations. Current responses oscillate between utopia and nihilism, with organizations central in introducing measures to ‘save the planet’, implementing ‘market mechanisms’, but also preparing for catastrophe.
In this project, we explore how corporate and political elites are organizing responses to a worsening climate crisis. These activities can be understood within the interlinked categories of mitigation, adaptation and suffering. While often presented in a neutral technical manner, we argue that these responses to the climate crisis are inherently political in that i) how and when emissions are mitigated is subject to negotiation, ii) adaptive responses to climate impacts preference market solutions, and iii) the inevitable suffering of escalating climate change is unequally distributed.
Our research examines not only the political economy of attempts to mitigate climate change through decarbonisation and the promotion of renewable energy over fossil fuels, but also how adaptation and suffering are negotiated within various ‘climate change hotspots’; regions which are at the forefront of risks from climate change and where there is already contestation over how to respond.