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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Existing literature on climate change as an issue of environmental justice documents the heightened vulnerability of people with disabilities to the effects of climate change. Additionally, there are numerous studies showing that access to information is a prerequisite for perceiving risk and taking action. Building on this work, our review seeks to understand how physical disability relates to perceptions of climate-related risk and adaptations to climate-related events. We introduce a critical realist model of climate justice to understand the relationships between the environmental features that disable, risk perception and information seeking, and adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change. In understanding the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of people with disabilities to climate change, this review synthesizes research on one of the U.S.’s largest minority communities with the goals of better understanding how vulnerable populations cope with climate change and integrating them into climate action and policy.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: King, M. M., & Gregg, M. A. (2022). Disability and climate change: A critical realist model of climate justice. Sociology Compass, 16(1), e12954, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

Available for download on Tuesday, January 02, 2024