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Subnational climate justice for the French Outre-mer: postcolonial politics and geography of an epistemic shift
Ferdinand, M. (2018). Subnational climate justice for the French Outre-mer: postcolonial politics and geography of an epistemic shift. Island Studies Journal 13(1): 119-134. https://hdl.handle.net/10.24043/isj.49
In: Island Studies Journal: Charlottetown. ISSN 1715-2593, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    climate change, climate justice, France, Outre-mer, postcolonial politics, subnational island jurisdictions (SNIJs)

Author  Top 
  • Ferdinand, M.

Abstract
    This paper presents France’s relation to climate change from the perspectives of the French overseas territories: the Outre-mer. Scattered across the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean, these formerly colonized territories are subnational jurisdictions of France. Through examining their greenhouse gas emissions, their ecological importance, their economic conditions, as well as their policies, I argue that understanding the Outre-mer climate change perspectives demands an epistemic shift characterized by two theoretical gestures. Firstly, the Outre-mer perspectives require moving beyond the single geographical imaginary of France that only represents its European mainland. Contributing very little to France’s greenhouse gas emissions, these territories are particularly exposed and particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, making the case for a subnational climate justice. Secondly, beyond their portrayal as foreign and voiceless victims, the Outremer perspectives also recognize the presence of postcolonial subjects as political and historical actors facing climate change, calling forcefully for postcolonial equality and social justice.

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