New Book: ‘Business and Climate Change Governance: South Africa in Comparative Perspective’

Börzel, T.A. & Hamman, R. (2013). Business and Climate Change Governance: South Africa in Comparative Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan. 

Why do business organisations contribute to climate change governance in areas of limited statehood? In many countries, governments are too weak and often also not willing to set and enforce climate change regulations. While companies have the capacities to fill the resulting governance gap, conventional wisdom expects them to take advantage by relocating their production sites in order to escape strict national regulation. Studies on South Africa, Kenya and Germany demonstrate that business contributions to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change vary significantly between countries, sectors and firms. In order to explain these variations, the contributors bring together two important literatures that rarely speak to each other – governance and business management – arguing that the threat of public regulation has an important role in motivating business efforts.

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New Article: “‘Climate Finance Issues': Implications for Climate Change Adaptation for Food Security in Southern Africa”

Hofisi, C., Chigavazira, B., Mago, S., Hofisi, M. (2013). “Climate Finance Issues”: Implications for Climate Change Adaptation in Food Security in Southern Africa”. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. 4(6): 47-53.

Abstract: Global development has been asphyxiated by climate change as evidenced by significant repercussions on the world economy.While agriculture is the backbone of most developing economies in the global south, this sector is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Grim statistics point to a bleak future if the risk posed by climate change is not tackled.The impact of climate change has generally seen precipitation increasing in the Global North while the same has decreased in the Global South resulting in both wetter and drier scenarios. This scenario has meant that global food security is under threat.It is against this background that climate change adaptation becomes significant in averting the climate change induced food crisis. However, the UNFCCC “funding streams” for climate change adaptation strategies have been criticised for being financially and technically inadequate for meeting the adaptation needs of poor countries that are more vulnerable to climate effects. The disbursal of climate change is inefficient and more costly. African countries have also been clamouring for direct access to climate finance. Therefore, the ravaging impact of climate change on global development lingers. While there are debates on climate finance for effective adaptation, the resolution of issues involved is key if the battle against climate change is to be won. It is important that adaptation is mainstreamed in government policies, mainly, in the developing countries for effective financing of climate change adaptation to be realised while the poor and most vulnerable in developing countries should be given priority.

Available for download with subscription here.

New Report: “Global Problems, African Solutions: African Climate Scientists’ Perspectives on Climate Change”

Edwards, L. (2013). Global Problems, African Solutions: African Climate Scientists’ Perspectives on Climate Change. The Centre for International Governance Division (CIGI), Africa Initiative Discussion Paper Series No. 7.

Abstract: This paper offers a preliminary survey of Africa’s climate scientists’ views on the critical problem of climate change, which has been described as an “out of Africa” problem crying out for “made in Africa” solutions. Based on interviews with these scientists, this paper presents their views on the state of African climate science; discusses the challenges of undertaking scientific research in Africa and ways that research could be done better; identifies the impacts of climate change on contemporary African society and its potential impacts in the future; identifies gaps in the current research agenda on energy, urbanization and migration; and explores the links between climate change and other environmental problems, such as water pollution and deforestation. Finally, while Africa’s scientists value their involvement in international scientific assessments, they would welcome more opportunities to collaborate with their peers on the continent, more dialogue with African policy makers and a broader program of public education, to better equip Africans to take practical actions to meet the challenges of climate change.

For more information click here.

New Article: “Democracy and the Environment Revised: The Case of African Fisheries”

Sjöstedt, M. & Jagers, S.C. (2013). Democracy and the Environment Revised: The Case of African Fisheries. Marine Policy.

Abstract: This article develops and test three hypotheses concerning the effects of levels of democracy on levels of overfishing in Sub-Saharan Africa. The results show that the more democratic a country is, the more successful it is in protecting marine environments. However, this effect disappears during turbulent times and periods of rapid political change. The analysis also shows that democracy has a stronger effect on environmental performance than do levels of corruption and government effectiveness.

Available for download with subscription here.

Table of Contents Alert: Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 6

See below for some of the articles that were published in the latest volume of Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions

Sustainability for wellbeing
Timothy O’Riordan
Abstract: I consider the record of failure of the current arrangements of capitalism to deliver sustainability: the failure to anticipate tipping points; the over-optimism of business to deliver sustainability; the immorality of markets; and the increasing loss of public trust in democracy. I consider how to resurrect the meaning and definition of sustainability for the emerging age of human wellbeing and betterment. It is possible that the manner in which our governing institutions function actually contributes to the acceleration and intensity of critical thresholds. I discuss the relationship between international, national and local levels of governing to bring about a transition in the coming decade. I review the conditions to promote citizenship opportunities for otherwise unemployed young people and consider the prospects for the success of such initiatives at the local level. These are not perfectly connected solutions: but they are relevant ingredients for any transition to sustainability.

Economic crisis, long waves and the sustainability transition: An African perspective
Mark Swilling
Abstract: To make sense of the global crisis and a possible transition, many re-interpret the past as a set of successive long-term development cycles that could repeat in future. At the same time environmental pressures have resulted in the notion of a green economy. It is argued that the current global economic crisis simultaneously marks the end of the post-WWII long-term development cycle, the mid-point of the information age and  potentially the start of a new era of sustainable development. It must be recognised that only certain futures are being imagined with Africa’s options largely ignored. As African growth rates rise as demand for its resources increase, it is necessary to question whether Africa is appropriately positioned to take advantage of the next long-term development. The new discourse of ‘resource nationalism’ is promising, but only if governance modalities can be found that can transcend the resource curse.

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New Article: ‘Pathways of Integrated Coastal Management from National Policy to Local Implementation: Enabling Climate Change Adaptation’

Celliers, L. et al. (2013). ‘Pathways of Integrated Coastal Management from National Policy to Local Implementation: Enabling Climate Change Adaptation. Marine Policy. 39: 72 – 86

Abstract: Integrated coastal management (ICM) has been developing concomitantly with the realisation of the severity of the potential impacts of climate change. The discourse on climate change and adaptation has also included the awareness that adaptation must take place at all levels of government, particularly local government. Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on the physical, social, environmental and economic environments of coastal cities and towns, and in particular on the poor and vulnerable communities within these cities and towns. The crucial role that local government can play in climate protection and building cities’ and communities’ resilience to climate change is widely recognised at the global level. This paper explores the legal and policy connexion between ICM, local government and climate change in Mozambique and South Africa, two developing countries in Africa. The state of institutionalisation of coastal management at national through to local government is also examined. The authors contend that the state, character and maturity of the ICM policy domain can create an enabling environment within which local government agencies can prepare for future impacts of climate change. Conversely it can also limit, delay and hinder climate change adaptation. The paper concludes with the identification of some key success factors for assessing the effectiveness of the existing policy and legal frameworks to respond to the challenges of climate change. It also identifies some key principles to be included in future legislative reform to promote ICM, cooperative governance and greater preparedness for climate change at local government level.

Available for download with subscription here.


New Article: ‘Adoption of Climate Change Mitigation Practices by Risk-Averse Farmers in the Ashanti Region, Ghana’

De Pinto, A. et al. (2013). Adoption of climate change mitigation practices by risk-averse farmers in the Ashanti Region, Ghana. Ecological Economics. 86: 47-54.

Abstract: Uncertainty and risk-aversion are notably absent in the modeling of farmers’ adoption of climate change mitigation practices in developing countries even though most of the agricultural mitigation practices also have effects on yield variability. The objective of this paper is to explore the implications for climate change mitigation projects of modeling farmers as risk neutral while in actuality they behave as risk-averse agents. Results indicate that when risk averse farmers are modeled as risk-neutral agents, the size of the incentives needed to induce participation to a carbon sequestration program is miscalculated with serious implications either for the success for projects that aim at compensating for climate change mitigation services or for the economic efficiency of such projects.

Available for download with subscription here.

New Article: ‘Land Tenure Insecurity, Vulnerability to Climate-Induced Disaster and Opportunities for Redress in Southern Africa’

Chagutah, T. (2012). Land tenure insecurity, vulnerability to climate-induced disaster and opportunities for redress in southern africa.  Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies. 5 (2): 1-8.

Abstract: Land tenure is an important variable impacting on vulnerability to climate-related disaster. Land tenure insecurity is widespread in southern Africa and manifests itself in a number of ways that accentuate vulnerability to climate change impacts. Insecure tenure is seen to heighten vulnerability against growing demand for land for residential purposes and working space in urban areas while in the rural areas insecure tenure militates against diversified livelihoods and hinders investment in appropriate technologies and uptake of sound environmental management practices. Using the focused synthesis method, this article (1) maps the intersections between land tenure insecurity and vulnerability to climate induced disaster in southern Africa; and (2) identifies the opportunities tenure reforms hold for vulnerability reduction in a region predicted to suffer widespread impacts from climate change. The paper contends that land tenure is a critical component of the milieu of factors – economic, social, cultural, institutional, political and even psychological – that are known to shape vulnerability and determine the environment that people live in. The study finds that land tenure reforms can help to reduce vulnerability and enhance community resilience to climate change. In this regard, the article outlines how tenure reforms can help build diverse household livelihoods, improve environmental management, particularly in the rural areas, and encourage investment in robust housing and safe neighbourhoods among the urban poor – all of which are integral to the region’s response to climate change.

Available for download with subscription here.

New Article: ‘Women and Climate Change: Strategies for Adaptive Capacity in Mwanga District, Tanzania’

Muthoni, J.W. and Wangui, E.E. (2013). Women and Climate Change: Strategies for Adaptive Capacity in Mwanga District, Tanzania. African Geographical Review. DOI:10.1080/19376812.2012.756766

Abstract:  This paper highlights the role that women in Mangio Village, Mwanga District, Tanzania play in rural livelihoods in the context of a changing climate. Data were collected in 2011 at community, household and individual levels. Methods of data collection included focus group discussions, and in-depth interviews with household members, individuals and key informants. Qualitative data analyses were done using NVIVO software. Results indicate that despite having limited access to livelihood assets compared to men, women play an important role in enhancing the adaptive capacity that Mangio Village has to climate change. Their roles extend from family units to the community level where they contribute in all the major spontaneous and planned strategies that the village has taken up in response to a changing climate among other drivers. Key to women’s contribution is their social networks and the labor required in new activities that enhance adaptation.

Available for download with subscription here.

New Article: ‘The Potential Role of Insurance Law in Addressing Climate Change-related Risks and Disasters in South Africa’

Abstract: Global warming and climate change are now creating new risks and also altering risks we face on a daily basis. The impacts of these are usually on the environment, earth, and atmosphere with devastating effects on movable, immovable, living and non-living things which are all subjects of insurance. It is against this background that this paper examines the potential role of insurance law in addressing these novel weather events-risks  and disasters. The paper argues that despite the fact that these risks are not expressly provided for or defined in the core laws regulating insurance law and business in South Africa, significant provisions are in the Long Term Insurance Law, general principles of insurance law and other related statutes to be the legal basis upon which these risks can be regulated and managed. The article offers insightful proposals for inclusions and reforms by engaging in comparative study.

Full Citation: Odeku, K.O. (2012). The Potential Role of Insurance Law in Addressing Climate Change-related Risks and Disasters in South Africa. Journal of Human Ecology: International, Interdisciplinary Journal of Man – Environment Relationship, 39 (2): 103-113 (Available for download with subscription at: 


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