Exploring relationship between social inequality and adaptations to climate change: evidence from urban household surveys in the Yangtze River delta, China

Type

Journal Article

Author(s)

Tan, Yan
Liu, Xuchun
Hugo, Graeme

Title

Exploring relationship between social inequality and adaptations to climate change: evidence from urban household surveys in the Yangtze River delta, China

Year

2015

Journal

Population and Environment

Vol (No), pp

36(4), 400-428

Abstract

This research enhances our understanding of the complex relationship between climate change, social inequality, and adaption, in urban areas. It is novel, being the first research in this area to be based on a conceptual econometric framework within which multiple stages are explicitly developed, and for which empirical evidence is gathered. We use this approach to examine the role of material, social status, and power inequality in influencing spontaneous adaptation choices in urban settings of China’s Yangtze River delta. This framework differentiates two vital stages in adaptation decision making at the household level which allows us to examine, first, how social inequality shapes the severity of climate impact and, second, how social inequality interacts with this experience to influence responses to these impacts. We pilot this approach in selected metropolitan areas of Shanghai and Nanjing. Our results show that all dimensions of social inequality are significantly associated with experiences of climate change and adaptation choice. Application of our conceptual framework provides policymakers and planners with a new and useful tool that can be used to formulate better policy measures that either enable the disadvantaged to adapt in situ or provide these groups with real opportunities and capacities to migrate.

Citation

Tan, Y., Liu, X., & Hugo, G. (2015). Exploring relationship between social inequality and adaptations to climate change: evidence from urban household surveys in the Yangtze River delta, China. Population and Environment, 36(4), 400-428. URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11111-014-0223-2

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