In-depth Q&A: What is ‘climate justice’?

Carbon Brief

When hurricanes, floods or droughts strike, all too often those hit hardest are poor and marginalised communities who bear little responsibility for climate change.

This is the central argument of “climate justice” – a reshaping of climate action from a technical effort to cut emissions into an approach that also addresses human rights and social inequality.

As industrialised nations and corporations have amassed wealth by burning fossil fuels, many also argue that a “just” outcome would involve them redistributing more of this wealth towards those having to deal with the consequences.

…Mohamed Adow from thinktank Power Shift Africa tells Carbon Brief that climate justice is “an extension of the struggles of [global] southern, Indigenous and local communities for land, resources, sovereignty and anticolonialism”.

Today, the message can be heard from the waves of climate protesters who take to streets around the world chanting: “What do we want? Climate justice. When do we want it? Now!” The timeline below lays out some of the key moments in the ascent of climate justice as a political idea and a rallying cry for activists.

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