Making space for social inclusion in conceptualising climate change vulnerability
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Impacts from climate change pose a raft of challenges for societies, governments and policy makers internationally. The anticipated changes are well documented, including rising sea levels, increased floods and other extreme weather conditions. Much research and policy emphasis has focused on technical and economic aspects. Less debated are questions about different communities’ vulnerabilities, inequitable distributional impacts, social justice issues and how vulnerability links to social inclusion/exclusion. This paper explores a case study which maps social exclusion and vulnerability in Brisbane, Queensland, and found that while communities can be vulnerable through physical aspects of an area, when social dimensions are added to the equation it amplifies or exacerbates the scale of vulnerability. The findings also suggest that in developing research agendas and policy debates around climate change there could be benefits from interlinking the currently separate areas of work on social vulnerability to extreme weather events, to forms and processes of social inclusion/exclusion.