The COVID-climate moment: Geographies of abandonment and discontent

Authors: Benjamin Weinger*, University of California, Los Angeles
Topics: Middle East, Political Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Political geography, climate planning, Palestine, Israel, climate justice, settler colonialism, decolonization
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 7
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This presentation engages with recent mass uprisings spurred by COVID-19 in Israel/Palestine which have begun to push the rather limited, nascent, and apolitical Israeli climate movement towards a more radical, anti-state politics that may define the future of climate justice in this precarious territory. I situate emerging climate discontent within the backdrop of uneven productions of national environmental discourses around climate change, drawing on the quasi-State of Palestine’s and the State of Israel’s respective National Communication reports to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as key representations of national territorial strategies. This presentation questions how climate planning and dissent, with immense social and ecological uncertainty, operate within already uncertain political geographies of conflict amidst uneven territorial struggles for statehood and sovereignty. Under an apparatus that privileges the sovereignty of nation-states, statist climate planning begins to unsettle and expose the institutional inadequacies and constraints of global climate governance. Situated in (geo)political ecological, settler colonial, and Indigenous climate justice literatures, this analysis pays particular attention to the historical and ongoing structures of erasure and occupation that precondition adaptation to climate change and decolonial struggles for justice. I seek to locate the inherent exclusions, limitations, and conditions under which climate planning and discontent have been forged to bring forth a new space for political futures and climate justice.

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