The references here provide a snapshot of academic research on climate change and vulnerable communities - it is not designed to be exhaustive, but selects a few key papers that, hopefully, are of interest to researchers, decision-makers, and stakeholders alike.

The papers are roughly categorised under the headings of: General; Mental Health; Policy; Social Justice; Older People; Conceptual-Theoretical; Gender; Vulnerability Assessment; Coatal Vulnerability; Health and vulnerability; Rural Communities and; Homelessness

This bibliography will be gradually be extended over time, and if you have any recommendations of papers that you consider key to the area of vulnerable communities, please get in contact by email. 


Adger, N.W. (2003). Social capital, collective action, and adaptation to climate change, Economic Geography, 79(4), 387-404.

Adger, N. W. (1999). Social vulnerability to climate change and extremes in coastal Vietnam. World Development, 27(2), 249-69.

Adger, N.W., & Kelly, P.M. (1999). Social vulnerability to climate change and the architecture of entitlements, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 4, 253–266.

Smit, B., & Wandel, J. (2006). Adaptation, adaptive capacity and vulnerability. In  A, Sevoyan, G. Hugo, H. Feist, G. Tan, K. McDougall, Y. Tan, & Spoehr, J. (2013). Global Impact of climate change on disadvantaged groups: Issues and interventions, National ClimateChange Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, 180 pp. Environmental Change, 16, 282–292.

Mental Health

Berry, H. L., Bowen, K., & Kjellstrom, T. (2010). Climate change and mental health: a causal pathways framework. International Journal of Public Health, 55(2), 123-132.


Capetola, T. (2008). Climate change and social inclusion: opportunities for justice and empowerment. A Journal of Australian Social Policy, 47, 23-30.

Social justice

Arthurson, K., & Baum, S. (2015). Making space for social inclusion in conceptualising climate change vulnerability. Local Environment, 20(1), 1-17.

Brisley, R., Welstead, J., Hindle, R & Paavola., J, (2012). Socially just adaptation to climate change: Report, Inspring Social Change, Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Accessed at

Brooks, N., Adger, W.N., & Kelly., P.M. (2005). The determinants of vulnerability and adaptive capacity at the national level and the implications for adaptation. Global Environmental Change, 15(2), 151-163.

Dulal, H. B., Shah, K.U., & Ahmad, N. (2009). Social equity considerations in the implementation of Caribbean climate change adaptation policies. Sustainability, 1(3), 363-383.

Johnson, V. (2012). Barriers to effective climate change adaptation: Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry. Brotherhood of St Laurence, Melbourne.

Kovats, S., Wilkinson, P., & Menne, B. (2010). Social inequalities in environmental risks associated with global climate change. In World Health Organization (Ed.), Environment and health risks: a review of influence and effects of social inequalities, 149-158. WHO Regional Office for Europe: Copenhagen. Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden. September.

Polack, E. (2008). A right to adaptation: Securing the participation of marginalized groups. IDS Bulletin, 39(4), 16-22.

Stanley, J. (2009). Promoting social inclusion in adaptation to climate change: Discussion paper, Monash Sustainability Institute Report 09/4, for Sustainability Victoria, Melbourne.

White-Newsome, J., O'Neill, M.S., Gronlund, C., Brines, S.J., Parker, E., Brown, D., et al. (2009). Climate change, heat waves, and environmental justice: advancing knowledge and action. Environmental Justice, 2(4), 197-205.

Wolf , J. (2011). Chapter 2: Climate Change Adaptation as a Social Process’, In Ford, J.D & Berrang-Ford, L (Eds.). Climate change adaptation in developed nations: from theory to practice, Advances in Global Change Research, no. 42, Springer, Netherlands.

Older people

Filiberto, D., Wethington, E., Pillemer, K., Wells, N.M., Wysocki, M., & Parise, J.T .(2009). Older people and climate change: vulnerability and health effects. Generations, 33(4), 19-25.


Füssel, H.M. (2005). Vulnerability in climate change research: a comprehensive conceptual framework, Breslauer Symposium, University of California International and Area Studies, UC Berkeley.

Füssel, H. M. (2007). Vulnerability: a generally applicable conceptual framework for climate change research. Global environmental change, 17(2), 155-167.

Kasperson, J.X., Kasperson, R.E., Turner II, Hsieh, W., & Schiller, A., (2005). Vulnerability to global environmental change. In: J.X. Kasperson,., R.E.  Kasperson, (Eds.), Social Contours of Risk. Vol. II: Risk Analysis Corporations and the Globalization of Risk. (pp. 245–285). London: Earthscan.

O’Brien, K., Eriksen, S., Nygaard, L., & Schjolden, A. (2007). Why different interpretations of vulnerability matter in climate change discourses. Climate Policy,7(1),73-88.

O’Brien, K., Eriksen, S., Schjolden, A., & Nygaard, L. (2004). What’s in a word? Conflicting interpretations of vulnerability in climate change research. CICERO Working Paper 2004:04.

Pelling, M., & High, C. (2005). Understanding adaptation: what can social capital offer assessments of adaptive capacity? Global Environmental Change, 15, 308–319.

Gender and vulnerability

Dasgupta S, Siriner I, Partha, S.D, (Eds). (2001). Women’s Encounter with Disaster. London (UK): Frontpage Publications.

Enarson, E., & Morrow, B. (1998). The gendered terrain of disaster. New York: Praeget.

Parkinson, D., Lancaster, C., & Stewart, A. (2011). A numbers game: lack of gendered data impedes prevention of disaster-related family violence. Health promotion journal of Australia, 22(4), 42-45.

Phillops, B., Jenkins, P., & Enarson, E. (2000). Violence and disaster vulnerabilty. In B, Phillips, D. Thomas, A, Fothergill, L, Blinn-Pike (Eds.), Social Vulnerability to Disasters. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2009.

Neumayera, E., & Plumperb, T. (2001). The Gendered Nature of Natural Disasters: The Impact of Catastrophic Events on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy, 1981-2002. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 97(3), 551-66.

Scanlon J. (1998). The perspective of gender: a missing element in disaster response. In E. Enarson, B.H. Morrow (Eds.). The Gendered Terrain of Disaster: Through Women’s Eyes. Westport (CT): Praeger Publishers.

Vulnerability Assessment

Hahn, M., Riederer., A., & Foster. S. (2009). The Livelihood Vulnerability Index: a pragmatic approach to assessing risks from climate variability and change – a case study in Mozambique. Global Environmental Change, 19(1), 74-88

Hinkel, J. (2011). Indicators of vulnerability and adaptive capacity: towards a clarification of the science–policy interface. Global Environmental Change, 21(1), 198-208.

Kelly, P.M., & Adger, N.W. (2000). Theory and practice in assessing vulnerability to climate change and facilitating adaptation. Climatic Change, 47, 325–352.

Vincent, K. (2004). Creating an index of social vulnerability to climate change for Africa. Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research. Working Paper, 56, 41.

Coastal Vulnerability

Button, C., & Harvey, N. (2015). Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change on the South

Australian coast: a coastal community perspective. Transactions of the royal society of South Australia, 139(1).

Health and Vulnerability

Ebi, K. L., & Semenza, J. C. (2008). Community-based adaptation to the health impacts of climate change. American journal of preventive medicine, 35(5), 501-507.

Costello, A., Abbas, M., Allen, A., Ball, S., Bell, S., Bellamy, R., ... & Patterson, C. (2009). Managing the health effects of climate change: lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission. The Lancet, 373(9676), 1693-1733.

Kjellstrom, T., & Weaver, H.J. (2009). Climate change and health: impacts, vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation’, Public Health Bulletin, 20(1–2), 5-9.

Kovats, R.S., & Hajat, S. (2008). Heat stress and public health: a critical review. Annual Review of Public Health, 29(1), 41-55.

Rural Communities

Nelson, R., Kokic, P., Crimp, S., Meinke., H., & Howden, S. M. (2010). The vulnerability of Australian rural communities to climate variability and change: Part I—conceptualising and measuring vulnerability, Environmental Science & Policy,13, 8–17.


Every, D., & Thompson, K. (2014). Disaster resilience: Can the homeless afford it? Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 29(3), 52-56.

Ramin, B., & Svoboda. T. (2009). Health of the homeless and climate change. Journal of Urban Health, 86(4) 654-664.