Climate Change, Resilience, and Fairness: How Nonstructural Adaptation Can Protect and Empower Socially Vulnerable Communities on the Gulf Coast

Oxfam America for the Center for Progressive Reform

[From Press Release] Coastal communities in low-lying Louisiana, threatened not only by subsiding land but rising seas, face social vulnerabilities that must be taken into consideration as the state adapts to climate change, new research finds.

Along the Gulf Coast, the geographic and social vulnerabilities of the region like poverty and substandard housing “overlap to amplify the devastation caused by flooding, hurricanes, and other natural disasters,” the paper by the Center for Progressive Reform notes.

“What sociologists who study disaster recovery find is that social vulnerability is in as many cases just as important as what you might call geographic vulnerability,” said Robert Verchick, an environmental law professor at Loyola University New Orleans, as well as the president of the center and one of the co-authors of the report.

Race, income, education level, gender in some cases, age and disability can also contribute to social vulnerability…

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