Where are criteria of human significance in climate change assessment?

Des Gasper*, Simone Rocca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

2 Citations (Scopus)


How important are humanistic principles in assessments of climate change? Do we judge in terms of all the valued impacts on all people? The chapter identifies how interests of vulnerable poor people are often marginalized, even when assessments are made by agencies supposedly accountable within the United Nations system with its commitments to universal human rights and human security. A major case considered is the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (2014). A second example taken is the debate on climate change’s impacts on human health. The burden of proof in climate change politics has been placed on the side of those who warn of dangers, and the precautionary principle often becomes configured in favour of not risking disturbance to the privileged. The chapter generates a typology of ways in which vulnerable poor people are marginalized or excluded in climate change analyses. It then discusses how this marginalization and exclusion might be countered, including looking at the 2015 Papal encyclical on the environment, and asks whether attention to the excluded requires ontological reorientations of sorts that are not yet standard in human development discourse. It concludes by pointing towards how human rights and human security frameworks can contribute here.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainability, Capabilities and Human Security
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9783030389055
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020. All rights reserved.


Dive into the research topics of 'Where are criteria of human significance in climate change assessment?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this