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Cities, municipal solid waste management, and climate change: Perspectives from the South
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3411-4826
2016 (English)In: Geography Compass, ISSN 1749-8198, E-ISSN 1749-8198, Vol. 10, no 12, 499-513 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change is arguably the most debated and contentious environmental issue today. Hitherto neglected, the role of cities is beginning to attract attention particularly within the academic milieu. Cities are acknowledged as development drivers but also considered major drivers of climate change as a result of activities associated with the release of harmful substances such as carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases (GHGs). Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) is noted as a major contributor to climate change due to the release of harmful substances during waste treatment and disposal activities. MSWM remains a challenge across the globe but particularly in the South where many cities lack regular waste collection and disposal services. The paper addresses the gap between the North and South through a critical analysis of the current global debate on cities, MSWM and climate change. The paper reports that there are major differences between the North and South in almost all components of MSWM, from waste generation to treatment and disposal. The shift in priority from local burdens to the global concern for climate has occurred mainly in the North. The priorities and needs of cities in the South are largely neglected in the global debate. A major example is the failure to acknowledge the role of the Informal Waste Sector (IWS) even though it is a prominent feature of MSWM systems and a notable contributor to resource recovery in cities in the South. Lessons from the South suggest that climate change cannot be treated in isolation. Recognition of the role of the IWS is crucial because it introduces other important issues such as urban poverty, local economic development, urban governance and exclusionary practices and citizenship rights. The paper suggests the need for a more inclusive approach if we are to have a truly global solution to climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 10, no 12, 499-513 p.
Keyword [en]
Cities, municipal solid waste management, climate change, south
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137988DOI: 10.1111/gec3.12299ISI: 000390787500002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-137988DiVA: diva2:1065468
Available from: 2017-01-16 Created: 2017-01-16 Last updated: 2017-02-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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