De klimaatcrisis als koloniale crisis | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 136, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



By reviewing recent works in African environmental history, this article explores the colonial roots of the Anthropocene. I argue that a historical approach is crucial to understand the current climate crisis and its planetary inequalities. This article traces colonial environmental injustices, through examples such as forestry, agriculture and hydroelectric dam schemes, to show how they are reproduced and endure into the present. The exclusionary histories of the nature-culture divide as well as the problematic effects of colonial development schemes poignantly presage the unsustainability of contemporary interventionist climate policies. In this respect, African environmental history provides unique perspectives on the Anthropocene’s unequal dynamics. Historians can play a more prominent role in contemporary debates about the climate crisis by documenting these colonial legacies and in doing so they can contribute to more just and sustainable climate policies.


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