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ADAPTATION IN POOR COUNTRIES

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The talk focuses on the impact of climate change on the poorest of the poor. It explores the different mechanisms through which climate change will impose large inequalities and injustices in the years to come. In particular, it argues that climate injustice is manifested in terms of cost-benefit asymmetries and in the erosion of individuals’ capabilities. To understand the overall impact of climate change on poverty, it is relevant to explore the ways in which environmental degradation will affect the poor’s adaptive capacity and substantive freedoms. The implications for social policy are dramatic, with civil societies at the forefront and governments at the back.

Dr Flavio Comim

Flavio Comim is a development economist. He is currently working for the United Nations Development Programme as Senior Economist in Brazil. He is an affiliated lecturer at Land Economy, University of Cambridge and a Research Associate of the Von Hugel Institute, Cambridge. He is a former Fellow of St Edmund’s College and Director of the Capability and Sustainability Centre. Flavio was one of the Coordinating Leading Authors of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and a Leading Author of the United Nations’ Global Environmental Outlook 4, published last year. He has been a consultant for ILO , UNEP and WHO . Among his most recent publications are the books ‘Capabilities and Happiness’ (2008) co-edited with Luigino Bruni and Maurizio Pugno for Oxford University Press and ‘The Capability Approach’ (2008) co-edited with Mozaffar Qizilbash and Sabina Alkire for Cambridge University Press. He is also the author of the recently published ‘Poverty&Environment Indicators’ prepared for the United Nations Environment Programme and of the paper ‘Climate Injustice and Development: a capability perspective’, (2008) Development, 51.

This talk is part of the Seminars on Adaptation to Climate Change series.

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