Towards a politics of urban climate responsibility: insights from Hong Kong and Singapore

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Cities are important sites for interrogating the social, scalar and spatial dynamics that underpin climate responsibility. To date, however, there is limited theoretical and empirical understanding about how discourses, practices and politics of climate responsibility might be enacted in the urban context. This gap is particularly significant in the Asia Pacific – a region characterised by high rates of economic growth and rapid urbanisation alongside extreme poverty and exposure to the effects of climate change. This article explores the politics of urban climate responsibility in two cities – Hong Kong and Singapore. Based on empirical research with NGOs, it considers if and how cities have a responsibility to act on climate change, how such responsibility may be configured within the city, and the role of international and regional dynamics in creating and maintaining climate responsibility. The article reframes the contested and contingent geographies of urban climate responsibility through the dimensions of attribution, production and spatialisation before drawing out implications for climate justice and resilience in the Asia Pacific region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1469-1484
Number of pages16
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number7
Early online date17 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • climate justice
  • environment/sustainability
  • governance
  • politics
  • responsibility


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