Climate Justice Resources

The impacts of climate change extend beyond the atmospheric, geological and other physical effects on our planet. Like other ecological crises, climate change will be mediated by existing social disparities and peoples' intersecting experiences.

These resources may be useful for activists, educators, journalists and policymakers interested in finding solutions to climate change that advance social, economic, environmental and reproductive justice and peace.

Climate Justice

The environmental justice movement supports environmental policymaking and activism that hold the interests and voices of people of color and poor communities at their center. Just as environmental justice means engaging simultaneously in ecological and social progress, climate justice situates global warming issues within the same framework by focusing on the disparities between those most adversely affected by climate change and those responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions. Tackling the common roots of racism, social inequality, environmental degradation and climate change is key in a climate justice approach.

Climate Change and Nuclear Power

In the search for low carbon-emitting energy sources and alternatives to fossil fuels, industry leaders, politicians and policymakers have proposed increasing our dependence on nuclear power. This is alarming from a climate justice perspective, as the materials, facilities, and waste connected to nuclear power have historically impacted the health, autonomy and well-being communities of color (especially Indigenous communities) disproportionately. Not only is nuclear power far from carbon neutral, it is a dangerous and potentially economically disastrous enterprise. The costs of new nuclear power plants are exorbitant, and no insurance policy large enough to cover a worst-case-scenario accident exists.

Maintaining nuclear energy production implies increased militarism and sabotages non-proliferation efforts toward nuclear weapons. Proponents of nuclear power are working to seize the opportunity climate change presents for phasing out old power cupplies through attempts to replace coal with nuclear as a source of electricity that poses equal, and potentially far greater, threats to the environment. This threatens to derail efforts to develop safe, sustainable, job-creating, renewable energy sources.

Youth Climate Movement

Climate change presents a clear and deadly example of how the actions and choices of older generations will affect the lives of younger and future generations. The youth climate movement has emerged as a crucial voice in global warming discussions on many levels. Starting as a scattered network of young people invested in a safe and just future for the planet, the youth climate movement has become a cohesive agent for change. The movement's work centers mostly around grassroots organizing to pressure policy makers to take bold, decisive action to lower carbon emission rates and transition to a clean energy economy. It has been active at the national level by pushing legislators to pass productive climate bills and at the international level by sending delegates from each country to the UNFCC conventions. That developed countries should pay the full debt of their historical emissions and develop and equitably distribute renewable energy technology are key tenants of their campaigns. The youth climate movement also represents the demographic to be most affected by the harmful consequences of global warming: future generations.

•    SustainUS: U.S. Youth for Sustainable Development organization representing US youth in the international youth climate movement
•    Youth United for Climate Progress official website for the International Youth Climate Movement
•    It’s Getting Hot In Here a community based media project featuring student and youth leaders
•    Energy Action Coalition Youth based climate activist organization, regularly flagships mass national campaigns 

Climate Change and Disaster

While earthquakes, flooding and drought are inevitable, the death and displacement of peoples resulting from them are not. As global surface temperatures rise and weather systems begin to be affected by global warming, the IPCC predicts an increase in extreme weather events. The unnatural disasters resulting from these events are rooted in avoidable flaws in such things as building codes and development sites. Moreover, these dangers wrought by weather disproportionately affect marginalized populations, inextricably linking disaster preparedness to issues of race, gender and equity.

•    Radix - Radical Interpretations of Disaster thorough resource guide to progressive, critical understandings of disaster
•    Gender and Disaster Network an educational project examining gender in the context of disaster, many climate related resources
•    Disaster and Social Crisis Research Network research group with active newsletter and archives often covering climate issues

Climate Change and Militarism

Militarism is a major cause of environmental degradation and its adverse role in global warming is no exception. Not only does military spending divert scarce resources away from efficient energy technologies and ecological development, the military is one of the largest consumers of fossil fuels. In recent history, militarism has been introduced into discourse surrounding climate change adaptation and mitigation. Rousing racist, xenophobic fears of displaced Islamic "climate refugees" from low-lying countries projected to be effected by global warming, a militaristic agenda has been weaved into the climate debate. Militarism erodes the diplomatic space necessary to collaborate on international and cooperative solutions to global warming and creates a discussion about climate change that marginalizes women and many of the people of the global south.

•    Environmentalists Against War network of environmental organizations opposed to militarism
•    S/R 42: Militarism and Global Warming (Steve Martinot) one of the few explicit articles critically approaching the military/climate connection
•    I will add some links to some of my own pieces here

Climate Change and Equity

Economic equity is a crucial component of the response to climate change. The global north has profited from over 100 years of fossil fuel use and is responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas accumulations in the atmosphere. However, it is the global south that will bear the largest burden from global warming and will have to continue to develop using new, clean energy technologies. Some proposed mitigation solutions, like cap and trade, could increase inequality. Global warming cannot be remedied with small, isolated changes to consumption patterns or mere market based changes. Instead, many economic theories must be rethought to bring about the type of broad-scale social change needed to drastically reduce carbon emission rates and establish a clean energy economy. Equity is central to this rethinking. [THIS CAN BE SHORTENED MORE]

•    Economics for Equity and the Environment network of economists applying arguments for equity and environmental protection
•    Climate and Capitalism blog exploring the connections between global warming and a capitalist world system
•    Carbon Trade Watch news and resources lending a critical eye to market-based emission reduction schemes
•    EcoEquity small activist think tank emphasizing equity principles in policy response to global warming
•    The Climate Equity Alliance initiative of a broad range of organizations working for equity in climate solutions
•    Political Economy Research Institute: Green Economics economists considering one administrative approach to reducing carbon emissions using economic incentives with equity at its core as well as the effects of a shifting energy economy on employment and labor

Climate Change and Gender

Like every other aspect of our world, global warming is mediated by gender. Woman make up the majority of the world's poor and globallyare proportionally more dependent on natural resources. Women will feel different and more severe effects of climate change as well as poorly planned mitigation and adaptation measures. In weather related disasters women make up the majority of the victims and the consequences afterwards, such as increased domestic violence, are gendered as well. It is crucial that women's voices be heard in policy discussions and their needs addressed in solutions to global warming. Women need to be integral to environmental stewardship and a sound, guiding ecological ethics.

•    UNFPA - Climate Change Connections resource kit on climate, population and gender
•    gender cc - women for climate justice global network of women and gender activists working on global warming
•    Engendering Climate Change active blog with a gendered lens on global warming
•    Third Global Congress of Women in Politics and Governance excellent collection of resources and working papers on gender in climate change adaptation and disaster vulnerability

Climate Change and Population
Those fomenting fears of overpopulation have become a destructive voice in global warming discourse. Besides from its factual unfoundedness -the so-called "population explosion" has been over for decades- an emphasis on population growth as a major cause of global warming detracts from a deeper analysis of the problem that reveals root cause of inequality and injustice. By blaming the the global south for emissions due to population, proponents of the population/climate connection those people reproductive freedoms are eroded and the global north and wealthily wriggle of the hook for exorbitant consumption patterns.  I’ll rewrite this.
•    10 Reasons Why Population Control is not the Solution to Global Warming | Pop/Dev Pop/Dev's own project on the threat of population control in the climate debate

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