The Pacific’s Nuclear Legacy in the Context of the Climate Crisis
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The Pacific region was used as an atomic testing site by the world’s nuclear powers for five decades. This testing has left behind a wide range of severe impacts, from continuous health complications to contaminated land and increased food insecurity. Today, the region is also at the frontline of climate change. In this report, Dr. Milla Vaha maps out some consequences of atomic testing in the Pacific region and their relationship to climate change threats. She argues that by seeking global recognition for both nuclear and climatic existential threats, the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) make a strong case for the compensation owed to them by the international community – especially, by the powers that intentionally chose these territories as their nuclear playground.
This report was produced as part of a project on Nuclear Disarmament and the Anthropocene: Voices from Pacific Island Countries, sponsored by Ploughshares Fund.
About the Author
Dr. Milla Vaha is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Affairs at the School of Law and Social Sciences, University of the South Pacific. Her research focuses on ethics and world politics. She is the author of The Moral Standing of the State in International Politics: A Kantian Account (University of Wales Press, 2021) and has published in various academic journals and edited volumes on topics such as the ethics of war, human rights, global justice and the Small Island Developing States and climate change. She is currently working on the ethical implications of interplay between the climate crisis and nuclear legacy in the Pacific region.
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