Climate justice is an ethical framework and movement that empowers frontline communities most affected by the climate crisis and demands accountability from people and institutions who are causing it. This curated list of climate justice resources will help you learn about climate justice and find groups working for climate justice.
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What is Climate Justice?
Climate justice is an ethical framework and movement that empowers frontline communities most affected by the climate crisis and demands accountability from the people and institutions who are causing it.
There are almost as many definitions of climate justice as there are people working for climate justice. Here are a few key points that illustrate why the climate crisis is a justice issue and how we can respond to it in an equitable and effective manner:
- The climate crisis is a systemic problem. The climate is changing because greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming. This in turn causes various disruptions to the Earth’s many interwoven living and non-living systems. But this is more than just a physical sciences issue. To understand why those emissions are happening, and why they’ve reached the point of a global crisis, we must understand the economic and political systems that are creating and perpetuating those emissions. Unjust systems create unjust outcomes, including but not limited to the climate crisis.
- Systemic problems require systemic solutions. The climate crisis is caused by unjust economic and political systems choosing to continue extracting and burning fossil fuels in spite of the tremendous harm caused by the resulting emissions. If everyone in the world somehow switched energy sources overnight, that would go a long way to reduce present and future harms. However, it would not account for past and present harms. It also wouldn’t prevent those unjust economic and political systems from continuing to harm and exploit frontline communities in other ways. The only way to solve systemic problems is with systemic solutions: in this case, climate reparations, a just transition, and other remedies organized and demanded by frontline communities.
- Frontline communities are best situated to lead local, national, and international responses. Frontline communities are the communities most affected historically and currently by the climate crisis. Because they are the most affected, they can play a critical role in identifying the harms caused by the climate crisis and developing real climate solutions that are rooted in the principles of environmental and climate justice.
Climate Justice Groups
The following is a list of climate justice groups. This is not a general list for all climate and environment groups. To be included in this list, groups must place a significant or exclusive emphasis on climate justice in their mission and activities.
If you know of any climate justice groups that aren’t on this list, please contact me. I’ll be happy to add them!