Climate justice

Climate justice

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. For example examining issues such as equality, human rights and historical responsibility in relation to avoiding dangerous climate change. Many see recognition of the fact that those least responsible for climate change are currently experiencing (and will continue to experience) its greatest impacts 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]


History of the term

  • 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”[4]
  • 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.[5]
  • The Climate Justice Action Network formed during the 2009 COP 15 mobilisation, and organised civil disobedience and direct action during the summit. The phrase 'system change not climate change' was used by many climate justice activists to call for changes to the economic and political systems causing climate change.[7][8][9]
  • In April 2010 the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth took place in Tiquipaya, Bolivia, just outside the city of Cochabamba. The event was a global gathering of civil society and governments hosted by the government of Bolivia. Issues related to climate justice were discussed in the conference, with the resulting People's Agreement calling for a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth and an International Climate and Environmental Justice Tribunal.[10]

Groups/organisations linked to 'climate justice'

See also


  1. ^ see Kofi A. Annan quote, 1 October 2009 –
  2. ^, climate justice and equity
  3. ^ For example see Climate Justice Programme
  4. ^ Climate Institute, 'Climate Justice Movements'
  5. ^ Durban group for Climate Justice
  6. ^ The Global Humanitarian Forum Annual Meeting 2008
  7. ^ Climate Justice Now statement
  8. ^ Klimaforum declaration
  9. ^ Indymedia article
  10. ^ World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, People's Agreement

Further reading

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