Sustainability Science | 2021

Towards climate resilient peace: an intersectional and degrowth approach



How can peace be climate resilient? How can peace and environmental sustainability be advanced simultaneously? To address these questions, I develop a new conceptual and theoretical framework for climate resilient peace through degrowth. This paper calls for stronger consideration of positive conceptualizations of peace and of intersectionality and degrowth in pursuit of peace and resilience. Not only does climate change make planetary limitations more salient, but it also highlights rising inequalities. In light of this, peace necessitates transforming societal power structures that are both driving climate change and influencing people’s experiences of climate impacts. Addressing imbalanced power structures then is key to understanding and fostering climate resilient peace. This paper conceptualizes climate resilient peace based on an intersectional understanding of positive peace, highlighting that peace depends on the negation of structural violence experienced at the intersection of political and social identities. In relation to this, I argue that a process of climate resilient peace must address underlying power structures influencing people’s experience of climate harms, and driving climate change so as to mitigate further damage. This paper demonstrates such a process through degrowth, wherein growth is no longer the central economic goal, exemplifying social and ecological means for disrupting structural violence within climate limitations. I discuss and give examples of three key degrowth processes—redistribution, reprioritized care economies, and global equity—as opportunities to foster peace in a changing climate. This framework, thus, contributes a new approach to climate resilient peace that addresses challenges of both social and environmental sustainability.

Volume 16
Pages 1147 - 1158
DOI 10.1007/s11625-021-00906-1
Language English
Journal Sustainability Science

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