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Abstract

This Article seeks to begin to define a role for cities and their inhabitants in climate change governance. Part I argues that if there is a failure to take into account global urbanization and its defining characteristics, namely extreme squalor and associated social ills, as a central feature of climate change policy, we face a future where cities will experience sustained and perhaps intractable urban violence and social disintegration, a development that can only hasten the separate but related harms caused by climate change on the world’s human and biological populations. Part II explores some of the consequences of the inattention of the climate change literature, and especially the mainstream U.S.-based legal scholarship on climate change, to incorporate a voice for the world’s megacities and their extensive mega-slums in climate change governance. Part III then outlines some of the normative advantages of city-inclusive governance in the context of climate change regulation. Finally, Part IV outlines possible solutions to address the concerns addressed in the previous parts, suggesting ways in which climate change debate and the search for legal solutions to help combat the phenomenon might take account of global urbanization

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