Climate Change and Older Persons’ Health: Incorporating Third World Approaches to International Law into Climate Justice

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Existing literature reveal that older persons are among the highest number of climate change-induced mortalities. Older persons are particularly vulnerable to mounting temperature which could lead to their avoidable hospitalization and death. This article generates substantial research resources and applies robust and appropriate research design and techniques to investigate and analyse the effects of climate change on the health of older persons. The findings reveal that climate change-triggered events such as droughts and floods affect older persons disproportionately owing to their frailty and mobility concerns, making their escape less likely than those of younger persons. Even worse is the situation of older persons in developing countries where coping facilities such as electricity and air conditioners are a luxury which is beyond older persons’ financial reach. Despite the worrying concern around them, the United Nations recently stated that older persons remain ‘chronically invisible’ when it comes to data collection and disaggregation. Adopting Third World Approaches to International Law, this article provides an important point of reference on the assessment of the impact of climate change on older persons’ health. It employs human rights and climate change legal instruments to problematize the effects of climate change, thereby contributing important knowledge, ideas and techniques which are likely to have a lasting influence on the intellectual agenda on geriatric discourse. It argues that climate justice demands that genuine and committed global efforts are adopted to address the effects of climate change in the lives of older persons in the developing countries. In a novel way that focuses on older persons, the paper develops and advocates the concept of international cooperation whereby resources everywhere are used to spotlight and address climate injustice anywhere. This is particularly justifiable against the background of the developed countries’ historical contribution to climate change and the paradoxical disproportional impact such contribution has on people in the developing countries. The article also suggests the active involvement of older persons in the formulation and implementation of environmental and climate change laws and policies. The lived experience of older persons would be useful in addressing the intergenerational gaps that exist in climate change discourse.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication The Fourth Environmental Era: Climate Justice
    EditorsSumudu Atapattu, Freya Doughty-Wagner, Enéas Xavier
    PublisherVernon Press
    Publication statusAccepted/In press (AAM) - 2024


    • Climate Justice
    • Human Rights
    • International Cooperation
    • Older Persons
    • Resources


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