The New Earth Disability blog was started in 2014 by WID’s Policy and Research Specialist Alex Ghenis with the goal of understanding the intersection of climate change and disability. The blog includes several shorter editorials on the need for adaptation and the format of the historic COP21 climate change Summit in Paris in 2015. There are also two longer research series on heat waves and climate-related migration with two blog posts and three blog posts, respectively. Continue reading for synopses and blog posts in PDF form.
Editorials on Adaptation
Climate change will progress to some extent no matter how much we reduce our carbon emissions. In these posts, NED covers why it is important to adapt to the coming climate change rather than just focus on limiting greenhouse gas emissions. These blogs also address why it is important to adapt with a special focus on people with disabilities.
- Disability and Climate Change: Preparing for the Future (PDF)
- Adaptation: Getting Ready for the Inevitable (PDF)
Editorials on the 2015 COP21 Paris Summit
The landmark climate change Summit in Paris in the fall of 2015, called the “21st Conference of the Parties” or “COP21,” established a global framework to limit emissions with the goal of staying below 2°C of warming compared to pre-industrial levels. The Summit also focused on staying below 1.5°C if possible. These blog posts reflect on the Paris Summit in two ways: first, the blogs say that the summit itself should have put much more focus on adapting and preparing for climate change rather than just cutting emissions. Second, the blogs outline why setting a goal of 2°C is the wrong way to think. Instead, we should be focusing on the amount of CO2 that is present in the atmosphere–and realistically, 2°C is not possible to meet. We must move beyond that and set more realistic goals.
Research on Heat Waves and Extreme Heat (2 parts)
Climate change will lead to a massive increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves and extreme heat events. These two NED blog posts (now combined into one PDF) outline the causes and consequences of those extreme heat events, including the impacts on human health. They also show how these disproportionately affect people with disabilities, their health, and well-being. Finally, the blog posts outline some recommendations to protect the health and well-being of people with disabilities as heat waves progress even more into the future.
Research on Climate-Related Migration (3 parts)
It is projected that hundreds of millions of people will be displaced and migrate due to the consequences of climate change, including evacuating from extreme weather events, escaping flooding shorelines, and becoming refugees from conflict sparked by climate factors. This migration will be especially hard for people with disabilities, who may lack access to accessible transportation or housing, experience difficulty maintaining or re-enrolling in healthcare and social services, or simply may be turned away at the border because of their disability. These three NED blog posts (now combined into one PDF) cover the connection between climate change and migration, what that migration means for people with disabilities, and recommended actions to protect their lives and well-being.
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