Racial formation, coloniality, and climate finance organizations: Implications for emergent data projects in the Pacific

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    Abstract

    This commentary explores the potential consequence of latent racial formation in emergent climate finance data projects and draws from ethnographic research on climate finance governance conducted in Fiji. Climate finance data projects emerging in the Pacific aim to ease the flow of finance from the Global North to the South. These emergent data projects, such as renewable energy resource availability and investment mapping, are imbedded in the climate finance organizations that fund, develop, and use them. Thus, the commentary explores climate finance organizations through the lens of Ray’s (2019) theory of racial organizations, highlighting the ways in which important climate-related resources are mediated through racial and colonial schemas. The racial mediation of two key resources are spotlighted in this discussion: the finance itself and knowledge. Given that the Pacific region is at the coalface of climate change’s existential effects, the just allocation of resources is imperative. In interrogating the ways in which emergent data projects may deny these resources based on hidden racial schemas, the paper cautions against new and old forms of colonization that may be mobilized through even well-meaning techno-benevolent fixes (Benjamin, 2019).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    JournalBig Data & Society
    Volume8
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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