MANUFACTURED CLIMATE VULNERABILITY IN THE CARIBBEAN — THE CASE FOR CLIMATE REPARATIONS
This research thesis work examines the impact of exploitative fiscal relationships shaped by colonialism and imperialism on contemporary climate vulnerability in the Caribbean. Small island developing states (SIDS) and island nations worldwide face the challenge of responding effectively to the growing climate crisis. The Caribbean SIDS by geography, economy, and historical exploitation are uniquely vulnerable to climate change. This historical exploitation, at the expense of Caribbean SIDS, enabled European Nations and the United States to rapidly industrialize, and has made them the primary producer of the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change. This thesis work explores the role of these relationships in manufacturing climate vulnerabilities in the region. This research of this capstone project aims to answer the question of: how have exploitative fiscal relationships shaped by colonialism and imperialism contributed to and exacerbated contemporary climate vulnerability in the Caribbean? The study conducts a literature analysis to understand the historical political economy and colonial dimensions contributing to the production of climate vulnerability in the Caribbean. Based on this analysis, the thesis argues for reparative climate and economic policies, specifically climate reparations, as potential solutions to these manufactured vulnerabilities. To explore this topic further, interviews are conducted with climate policy and climate reparations experts, and a qualitative analysis is performed in the context of this argument. Ultimately, various proposals for reparative frameworks to address climate change are considered, as are visions for reparative climate actions. While there is some agreement on key instruments for climate reparative policies, initiatives, and efforts, the implementation of reparative climate action will depend on factors such as scale and location. The study highlights a growing momentum within the climate justice and debt justice movements towards adopting a framework of reparative thinking. This approach involves envisioning reparative solutions as a means of addressing climate-related challenges.
Climate vulnerability, Climate Reparations, Caribbean