CfP: Edited book “Heritage, History, and Climate (in)justice” (Routledge) Editor: Mesut Dinler (Polytechnic University of Turin)

Contributions (chapters) are invited to be proposed for inclusion in the edited book "Heritage, History, and Climate (in)justice," intended to be published by Routledge, following a successful peer review process.

Abstract submissions (250-300 words) should be sent by 15 April 2024. Notification of Acceptance: 6 May 2024

Full Chapter (max 6000 words): 7 October 2024

Book Description:

Climate change will exacerbate various forms of injustices and disparities that are deeply rooted in histories of colonialism, development, and industrialization (Chakrabarty; Nixon; Sultana, ‘The Unbearable Heaviness of Climate Coloniality’). The United Nations’ International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) has already underlined that who contribute the least to climate change are the most vulnerable, revealing climate change impacts human rights, including health, water, food, education, housing, and an adequate standard of living, disproportionately affecting communities that contribute the least to the problem. Moreover, IPCC emphasizes the importance of prioritizing equity, social justice, climate justice, rights-based approaches, and inclusivity in implementing comprehensive adaptation and mitigation strategies (Calvin et al.). Yet, the scientific knowledge system alone is not sufficient to understand the complexities of climate justice (Porter et al.; Simpson et al.), there is a need for a more democratic and inclusive knowledge production process, as well as the strategic use of such local knowledge to achieve climate justice within specific regional contexts. (Wijsman and Feagan; Schipper et al.). Moreover, there is a need for new narratives of climate change that do not victimize vulnerable groups or impose additional responsibilities upon them, but rather offer new perspectives and insights into climate justice (Sultana, ‘Gendering Climate Change’ 374).

Climate (in)justice extends to both tangible and intangible cultural and natural heritage, however, it finds limited focus not only in climate change related policy discussions, but also in overall climate change narratives. The role of cultural heritage in achieving sustainable development is widely recognized by international organizations (European Commission; UNESCO, Policy Document for the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention; ICCROM; UNESCO, Culture | 2030 Indicators), and there are ongoing efforts to integrate heritage as a vital component of Disaster Risk Management (United Nations; ICCROM et al.). However, in the framework of climate justice, the role of heritage is yet to be explored. Indeed there is a limited but strong emphasis on the role of heritage in exploring and capitalizing on traditional and indigenous knowledge in disaster risk management and climate change adaptation (Using Traditional Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction; UNDRR). In addition, a key concept with implications on policymaking is ‘loss and damage’ which addresses the residual risks (unmanaged risks) associated with climate change impacts. For instance, loss of historic urban and rural landscapes, disrupted traditional and historic land management practices, the loss of sense of place, displacement communities, and damaged biodiversity are considered as residual risks (Boyd et al.). This issue is urgent, especially for Low- and Middle-Income countries, like Small Island Developing States that already face these burdens despite having the least contribution to gas emissions (Chandra et al.). In line with the “polluter pays” principle, a ‘loss and damage fund’ has been finally established at COP28 in 2023, yet, it falls short to compensate vulnerable nations’ burdens (Lakhani).

While these developments make visible the international disparities and inequalities, it is vital to have an intersectional approach in understanding climate justice. The impacts of climate change go beyond simple economic disparities, spanning various intersectional factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, geographical location, immigrant or local status, disability, and other societal dimensions. Therefore, effectively addressing climate change entails more than relying solely on authoritative bodies like the IPCC or COPs; it necessitates new narratives with an intersectional perspective that acknowledges the complex nature of climate justice. Moreover, one of the harshest form of climate justices is the intergenerational injustice, implying that current generations will no way have the privilege of former generations in interacting with nature, and they will surely suffer because of the irresponsibility and wrong-doings of their predecessors (Puaschunder 2020). Thus, in additional to international and intersectional injustices, intergenerational injustice also needs to be framed in the context of climate justice.

Heritage, understood as a form of engaging with the past, aligns with climate change and climate justice not only in the framework of loss and damage, but also in mitigation and adaptation, and it relates to international, intersectional, and intergenerational injustices. Moreover, heritage can act as a key to frame and support non-Eurocentric, contextual culture and history-based knowledge systems in mitigation and adaptation. It can also unlock new narratives of climate change that can provide profound insights into climate justice.

This edited book aims to fill this knowledge and research gap exploring the complex relationship between heritage and climate change. We welcome contributions from various disciplines (e.g. Architecture, Urban Studies, Geography, Heritage Studies, Anthropology) as well as from climate activists, policymakers, and practitioners.

Submission Guidelines

Authors are invited to submit both theoretical contributions and chapters based on case-study research. Contributions should aim to provide insights into how climate justice can align with heritage. Guiding questions that frame the overall scope of the book are: 
  • What form of international, intersectional, and/or intergenerational injustices are observed in loss and damage, mitigation, and adaptation strategies regarding cultural and natural heritage?
  • Can we form alternative non-Eurocentric histories of climate that aligns climate change with colonialism, industrialisation, and capitalism?
  • How can heritage be actively used in scientific or traditional knowledge production?
  • Can heritage be a tool in imagining data-driven history-informed future scenarios in achieving climate justice?
  • How do climate-related displacement and migration impact heritage preservation and cultural identity, and how can these challenges be addressed?
  • How can heritage sites be used as laboratories for co-producing knowledge on climate change adaptation with local communities?
  • How can heritage help advocate climate justice and participate in decision-making processes?
  • How can traditional ecological knowledge and indigenous cultural practices contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts?
  • How can interdisciplinary collaborations between heritage practitioners, scientists, policymakers, and local communities enhance our understanding of the complex interactions between climate change and heritage?
Proposals will be structured under two main sections:

  • Perspectives and Frameworks: Chapters in this section will discuss different forms of injustices (international, intersectional, intergenerational) related to cultural and natural heritage in the context of:Loss and Damage: Analyze how current frameworks for addressing loss and damage due to climate change aligns with cultural heritage concerns. Explore ways to integrate heritage considerations into compensation and justice strategies.
  • Mitigation and Adaptation: Examine how current mitigation and adaptation strategies might perpetuate existing inequalities or overlook the impact on heritage. Propose alternative approaches that consider both climate action and heritage preservation.

This section welcomes contributions that explore theoretical frameworks for understanding the relationship between climate justice and heritage, drawing on disciplines such as: Environmental justice studies, Peace Studies, Decolonial and postcolonial theory, Critical heritage studies.

Insights and Case Studies: Chapters in this section will present original research or case studies. Examples might include:
  • Community-based projects: Documenting how indigenous communities are using traditional practices to adapt to climate change and preserve their cultural heritage.
  • Policy advocacy: Analyzing how heritage arguments are being used to advocate for climate action or influence policy decisions.
  • Heritage initiatives: Exploring how heritage sites are being adapted to withstand climate impacts while preserving their cultural value.
  • Narratives of change: Showcasing how heritage storytelling can be used to promote a sense of shared responsibility for climate action and inspire social movements.
Case studies can come from various geographical and cultural contexts, with a focus on regions most vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Contributions from the Global South are particularly welcomed.

Key Deadlines:

Abstract submissions (250-300 words) should be sent by 15 April 2024

Notification of Acceptance: 6 May 2024

Full Chapter (max 6000 words including references): 7 October 2024

All selected contributions will be peer reviewed.

For any further requests, please contact the book editor Mesut Dinler


Boyd, Emily, et al. ‘Loss and Damage from Climate Change: A New Climate Justice Agenda’. One Earth, vol. 4, no. 10, Oct. 2021, pp. 1365–70.

Calvin, Katherine, et al. IPCC, 2023: Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. ‘The Climate of History: Four Theses’. Critical Inquiry, vol. 35, no. 2, 2009, pp. 197–222.

Chandra, A., et al. ‘Climate-Induced Non-Economic Loss and Damage: Understanding Policy Responses, Challenges, and Future Directions in Pacific Small Island Developing States’. Climate, vol. 11, no. 3, 2023.

European Commission. Towards an Integrated Approach to Cultural Heritage for Europe. 22 July 2014,

Hiskes, Richard P. The Human Right to a Green Future: Environmental Rights and Intergenerational Justice. 1st ed., Cambridge University Press, 2008.

ICCROM. ICCROM’s Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals | ICCROM. 10 Nov. 2017,

---. Managing Disaster Risks for World Heritage. 2010,

---. Using Traditional Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction: From Words into Action. ICCROM Official Channel, 2021. YouTube,

Lakhani, Nina. ‘$700m Pledged to Loss and Damage Fund at Cop28 Covers Less than 0.2% Needed’. The Guardian, 6 Dec. 2023. The Guardian.

Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Harvard University Press, 2013.

Porter, Libby, et al. ‘Climate Justice in a Climate Changed World’. Planning Theory & Practice, vol. 21, no. 2, Mar. 2020, pp. 293–321.

Puaschunder, Julia M. Governance & Climate Justice: Global South & Developing Nations. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.

Schipper, E. Lisa F., et al. ‘Climate Change Research and the Search for Solutions: Rethinking Interdisciplinarity’. Climatic Change, vol. 168, no. 3–4, Oct. 2021, p. 18.

Simpson, Nicholas P., et al. ‘Decolonizing Climate Change–Heritage Research’. Nature Climate Change, vol. 12, no. 3, 3, Mar. 2022, pp. 210–13.

Sultana, Farhana. ‘Gendering Climate Change: Geographical Insights’. The Professional Geographer, vol. 66, no. 3, July 2014, pp. 372–81.

---. ‘The Unbearable Heaviness of Climate Coloniality’. Political Geography, vol. 99, Nov. 2022, p. 102638.

UNDRR. Words into Action: Using Traditional and Indigenous Knowledges for Disaster Risk Reduction. 2022,

UNESCO. Culture | 2030 Indicators. 2019.

---. Policy Document for the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention. 2015.

United Nations. Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. 2015.

Wijsman, Katinka, and Mathieu Feagan. ‘Rethinking Knowledge Systems for Urban Resilience: Feminist and Decolonial Contributions to Just Transformations’. Environmental Science & Policy, vol. 98, Aug. 2019, pp. 70–76.