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Abstract

The colonial process transformed the landscape of the Earth with devastating consequence for communities and ecosystems. It also set the foundations of the planetary crisis that we see today. Using a TWAIL approach, this article argues for the relevance of colonial and post-colonial analysis in combatting today’s planetary crisis and advancing a more effective form of global environmental governance. Today’s global order of multilateral agreements is increasingly under criticism, ineffective in combating the planetary crisis and in halting the disproportionate impact of ecological change experienced across the global South. A TWAIL lens helps to understand the root causes of today’s crisis in the colonial past, and to embrace calls by vulnerable communities across the South for equity and justice in environmental decision-making. It brings clarity to the socio-political context from which today’s planetary crisis arose, ways colonial and post-colonial legacies continue to shape today’s multilateral frameworks, and why, despite an array of well-crafted global regimes, the planetary crisis continues to escalate.

References

Journal Articles

Jernnas, Maria and Bjorn-Ola Linner. “A discursive cartography of nationally determined contributions to the Paris climate agreement.” Global Environment Change 55 (2019): 73-83.

Khoday, Kishan and Natarajan. “Fairness and International Environmental Law from Below: Social Movements and Legal Transformation in India.” Leiden Journal of International Law 25, no. 2 (2012), 415-441. doi:10.1017/S0922156512000118.

Lewis, Simon and Marc Maslin. “Defining the Anthropocene.” Nature 519 (2015): 171-180.

O’Brien, Susie. “Articulating a World of Difference: Ecocriticism, Postcolonialism, and Globalization,” Canadian Literature 170/171 (2001): 140-58.

Rajao, Raoni and Tioago Duarte. “Performing post-colonial identities at the United Nations’ climate negotiations,” Postcolonial Studies 21, no. 3 (2018).

Books and Book Chapters

Argyou, Vassos. The Logic of Environmentalism: Anthropology, Ecology, and Post-coloniality. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2005.

Amy, Elias and Christian Moraru. The Planetary Turn – Relationality and Geoaesthetics in the Twenty-First Century. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2015.

Ax, Christina Folke, et. al. eds. Cultivating the Colonies: the Colonial States and their Environmental Legacies. Athens, United States: Ohio University Press, 2011.

Barton, Gregory Empire, Forestry and the Origins of Environmentalism. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2002, 19.

Bennet, Jane. Vibrant Matter - A Political Ecology of Things. Durham, United States: Duke University Press, 2010.

Chasek, Pamela. “The Legacies of the Stockholm Conference, Policy Brief No. 40” in Still Only

Descola, Philippe. Beyond Nature and Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.

One Earth Series. Winnipeg: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), 2022.

Crosby, Alfred. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe 900-1900 (New Edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Connolly, William. Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the politics of swarming. Philippe Descola, et. al., The Ecology of Others. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2013).

Durham, US: Duke University Press, 2017.

Dawson, Ashley. Extinction: A Radical History. New York: O/R Books, 2016.

DeLoughrey, Elizabeth and George Handley. Post-colonial Ecologies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.Descola, Philippe. Beyond Nature and Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Fitzpatrick, Peter. The Mythology of Modern Law. Routledge, London: 1992.

Guha, Ramachandra. How Much Should a Person Consume? Thinking through the environment. Rahniket: Permanent Black, 2006.

Herder, Johann Gottfried. Outlines of a Philosophy of the History of Man (1784-91). [New York: s.n., 1966].

Hikel, Jason. Quantifying national responsibility for climate breakdown: an equality-based attribution approach for carbon dioxide emissions in excess of the planetary boundary. London: Lancet Planet Health, 2020.

Khoday, Kishan. “Rethinking Nature, Crisis, and Complexity after the Pandemic” in Development Future Series. New York: UNDP, 2021.

Latour, Bruno. Facing Gaia. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2017.

Khoshoo and John Moolakkattu. Mahatma Gandhi and the Environment. New Delhi: TERI Press, 2009.

Marks, Robert. The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century (Second Edition). Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Co, 2007.

Marshall, Jonathan Paul and Linda H. Connor. Environmental Change and the World’s Futures – Ecologies, ontologies and mythologies. Routledge, New York: Earthscan, 2017.

McCarthy, Thomas. Race, Empire and the Idea of Human Development. Cambridge: Cambridge Press, 2009.

Mignolo, Walter D. The Darker Side of Western Modernity – Global Futures, Decolonial Options. London, Duke University Press, 2011.

Mitchell, Timothy. Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, (London: Verso, 2011).Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011.

Rist, Gilbert. Le développement: Histoire d’une croyance occidentale [The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith]. [s.l.: s.n., 2004).

Shaw, Malcolm. Theory of the Global State – Globality as Unfinished Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Pring, Georget and Catherine Pring. Environmental Courts and Tribunals, (Nairobi: UN Environment, 2016).

Spivak, G. Chakravorty. Imperatives to Reimagine the Planet. Vienna: Passagen Verlag, 1999.

UNDP. Human Development Report 2020: The Next Frontier: Human Development in the Anthropocene, (New York: UNDP, 2020).

UNDP. New Threats to Human Security in the Anthropocene. New York: UNDP, 2020.

Valle, Ivonne del. “From Jose de Acosta to the Enlightenment: Barbarians, Climate Change and (Colonial) Technology as the End of History.” The Eighteenth Century 54, no. 4 (2013).

Legal Documents

United Nations. UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/73/240 Towards a New International Economic Order. Available at <[ https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/1660913].

Web Sources

Alston, Phillip. “Climate Change and Poverty.” OHCHR Geneva. (https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Poverty/A_HRC_41_39.pdf).

Books and Book Chapters Argyou, Vassos. The Logic of Environmentalism: Anthropology, Ecology, and Post-coloniality. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2005. Amy, Elias and Christian Moraru. The Planetary Turn – Relationality and Geoaesthetics in the Twenty-First Century. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2015. Ax, Christina Folke, et. al. eds. Cultivating the Colonies: the Colonial States and their Environmental Legacies. Athens, United States: Ohio University Press, 2011. Barton, Gregory Empire, Forestry and the Origins of Environmentalism. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2002, 19. Bennet, Jane. Vibrant Matter - A Political Ecology of Things. Durham, United States: Duke University Press, 2010. Chasek, Pamela. “The Legacies of the Stockholm Conference, Policy Brief No. 40” in Still Only Descola, Philippe. Beyond Nature and Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. One Earth Series. Winnipeg: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), 2022. Crosby, Alfred. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe 900-1900 (New Edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Connolly, William. Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the politics of swarming. Philippe Descola, et. al., The Ecology of Others. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2013). Durham, US: Duke University Press, 2017. Dawson, Ashley. Extinction: A Radical History. New York: O/R Books, 2016. DeLoughrey, Elizabeth and George Handley. Post-colonial Ecologies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.Descola, Philippe. Beyond Nature and Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. Fitzpatrick, Peter. The Mythology of Modern Law. Routledge, London: 1992. Guha, Ramachandra. How Much Should a Person Consume? Thinking through the environment. Rahniket: Permanent Black, 2006. Herder, Johann Gottfried. Outlines of a Philosophy of the History of Man (1784-91). [New York: s.n., 1966]. Hikel, Jason. Quantifying national responsibility for climate breakdown: an equality-based attribution approach for carbon dioxide emissions in excess of the planetary boundary. London: Lancet Planet Health, 2020. Khoday, Kishan. “Rethinking Nature, Crisis, and Complexity after the Pandemic” in Development Future Series. New York: UNDP, 2021. Latour, Bruno. Facing Gaia. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2017. Khoshoo and John Moolakkattu. Mahatma Gandhi and the Environment. New Delhi: TERI Press, 2009. Marks, Robert. The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century (Second Edition). Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Co, 2007. Marshall, Jonathan Paul and Linda H. Connor. Environmental Change and the World’s Futures – Ecologies, ontologies and mythologies. Routledge, New York: Earthscan, 2017. McCarthy, Thomas. Race, Empire and the Idea of Human Development. Cambridge: Cambridge Press, 2009. Mignolo, Walter D. The Darker Side of Western Modernity – Global Futures, Decolonial Options. London, Duke University Press, 2011. Mitchell, Timothy. Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, (London: Verso, 2011).Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011. Rist, Gilbert. Le développement: Histoire d’une croyance occidentale [The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith]. [s.l.: s.n., 2004). Shaw, Malcolm. Theory of the Global State – Globality as Unfinished Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). Pring, Georget and Catherine Pring. Environmental Courts and Tribunals, (Nairobi: UN Environment, 2016). Spivak, G. Chakravorty. Imperatives to Reimagine the Planet. Vienna: Passagen Verlag, 1999. UNDP. Human Development Report 2020: The Next Frontier: Human Development in the Anthropocene, (New York: UNDP, 2020). UNDP. New Threats to Human Security in the Anthropocene. New York: UNDP, 2020. Valle, Ivonne del. “From Jose de Acosta to the Enlightenment: Barbarians, Climate Change and (Colonial) Technology as the End of History.” The Eighteenth Century 54, no. 4 (2013).

Legal Documents United Nations. UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/73/240 Towards a New International Economic Order. Available at <[ https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/1660913].

Web Sources Alston, Phillip. “Climate Change and Poverty.” OHCHR Geneva. (https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Poverty/A_HRC_41_39.pdf).

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