Class Inequality and Climate Change Resilience: Exploring the Nexus in Liberalised India
Posted: 5 Mar 2015 Last revised: 8 Feb 2017
Date Written: March 2, 2015
In this paper, we develop an index for climate change resilience in post reform India across different classes using a set of variables that connotes the co-evolutionary relations of the social, economic and ecological realms. Contrary to the dominant paradigms of climate change resilience we focus on the much neglected question in resilience studies, “resilience for whom?”. Our results indicate that, there exist substantial inequalities in the resilience parameters of the classes with the urban elites remaining the most resilient and powerful group over the years. The resilience index of the urban elites and the agricultural labourers remain at both the ends of the spectrum with a value of 1.8 for the former and -1.5 for the latter in the year 2009-2010. A comparison of the resilience index of the classes with their respective share of carbon dioxide emissions gives a clear evidence of risk transfer where the benefits of high emissions rest with the elites while the ecological cost of emissions in the form of vulnerabilities associated with the climate crisis is passed on to the least polluters, who happen to be the rural working classes and small peasants in our analysis.
Keywords: Climate Change, Resilience, Class, Inequality, Climate Justice
JEL Classification: Q54, O13, Q01, Q56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation