Climate justice

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Climate justice is generally used as a term for viewing climate change as an ethical issue and considering how its causes and effects relate to concepts of justice, particularly social justice and environmental justice. This can mean examining issues such as equality, human rights, collective rights and historical responsibility in relation to climate change. Recognizing and addressing the fact that those least responsible for climate change experience its greatest impacts is seen by many as being central to climate justice.[1][2] The term is also used with reference to legal systems, where justice is achieved through application and development of law in the area of climate change.[3]

Definitions of climate justice[edit]

Climate justice is a fluid concept, however, there are recurring themes across definitions. The following definitions taken from 'Organizing Cools The Planet' give a picture of the various understandings of climate justice: [4]

  • Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative

Roots in Environmental Justice: “Climate Justice is a vision to dissolve and alleviate the unequal burdens created by climate change. As a form of environmental justice, climate justice is the fair treatment of all people and freedom from discrimination with the creation of policies and projects that address climate change and the systems that create climate change and perpetuate discrimination.[5]

  • Demanding Climate Justice section of Hoodwinked in the Hothouse (published by Rising Tide North America)

Climate Justice as Evaluative Model: “Climate Justice is a struggle over land, forest, water, culture, food sovereignty, collective and social rights; it is a struggle that considers “justice” at the basis of any solution; a struggle that supports climate solutions found in the practices and knowledge of those already fighting to protect and defend their livelihoods and the environment; a struggle that insists on a genuine systematic transformation in order to tackle the real causes of climate change… Climate Justice addresses four key themes: root causes, rights, reparations and participatory democracy.[6]

  • Global Justice Ecology Project

Climate Justice as Global Justice: “The historical responsibility for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions lies with the industrialized countries of the Global North. Even though the primary responsibility of the North to reduce emissions has been recognized in the UN Climate Convention, the production and consumption habits of industrialized countries like the United States continue to threaten the survival of humanity and biodiversity globally. It is imperative that the North urgently shifts to a low carbon economy. At the same time, in order to avoid the damaging carbon intensive model of industrialization, countries of the Global South are entitled to resources and technology to make a transition to a low-carbon economy that does not continue to subject them to crushing poverty. Indigenous Peoples, peasant communities, fisherfolk, and especially women in these communities, have been able to live harmoniously and sustainably with the Earth for millennia. They are now not only the most affected by climate change, but also the most affected by its false solutions, such as agrofuels, mega-dams, genetic modification, tree plantations and carbon offset schemes.[7]

  • Indigenous Environmental Network

Four Principles for Climate Justice: “Industrialized society must redefine its relationship with the sacredness of Mother Earth

  1. Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground
  2. Demand Real and Effective Solutions
  3. Industrialized – Developed Countries Take Responsibility
  4. Living in a Good Way on Mother Earth" [8]

History of the term's use[edit]

  • In 2000, the first Climate Justice Summit took place in the Hague, the Netherlands parallel to the Sixth Conference of the Parties (COP 6) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Summit's mission stated: “We affirm that climate change is a rights issue. It affects our livelihoods, our health, our children and our natural resources. We will build alliances across states and borders to oppose climate change inducing patterns and advocate for and practice sustainable development”[9]
  • The Durban Group for Climate Justice was formed in 2004 when representatives from organizations and peoples’ movements from around the globe came together in Durban, South Africa to discuss realistic avenues for addressing climate change. The group emerged from the meeting with a call for a global grassroots movement against climate change.[10]

Groups and organisations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ See Kofi A. Annan quote, 1 October 2009 – http://blogit.realwire.com/?ReleaseID=13791
  2. ^ globalissues.org, climate justice and equity http://www.globalissues.org/article/231/climate-justice-and-equity
  3. ^ For example, see Climate Justice Programme http://www.climatelaw.org/
  4. ^ Organizing Cools The Planet http://organizingcoolstheplanet.wordpress.com/
  5. ^ Climate Institute, 'Climate Justice Movements' http://www.climate.org/climatelab/Climate_Justice_Movements
  6. ^ Hoodwinked in the Hothouse http://www.actforclimatejustice.org/tools-resources/other-sources/rising-tide-publications/false-solutions-guide/
  7. ^ Global Justice Ecology Project, 'What is Climate Justice?' http://globaljusticeecology.org/climate_justice.php
  8. ^ For full descriptions of these four principles, see http://www.ienearth.org/docs/IEN_4_Principles_of_Climate_Justice.pdf
  9. ^ Climate Institute, 'Climate Justice Movements' http://www.climate.org/climatelab/Climate_Justice_Movements
  10. ^ Durban group for Climate Justice http://www.durbanclimatejustice.org/who-are-we
  11. ^ The Global Humanitarian Forum Annual Meeting 2008 http://gkpcms.com/gkp/index.cfm/elementid/5276/The-Global-Humanitarian-Forum-to-Address-Climate-Justice
  12. ^ Climate Justice Now statement http://climatevoices.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/call-for-%E2%80%9Csystem-change-not-climate-change%E2%80%9D-unites-global-movement/
  13. ^ Klimaforum declaration http://09.klimaforum.org/
  14. ^ Indymedia article http://www.indymedia.org/pt/2009/12/932387.shtml
  15. ^ World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, People's Agreement http://pwccc.wordpress.com/support/

Further reading[edit]