The Struggle for Climate Justice
Climate justice movements struggle not just in climate negotiations, but on the ground and in the streets across the world, to promote genuine solutions to the climate crisis based in social, ecological and gender justice.
Climate justice is based on the understanding that, while climate change requires global action, the historical responsibility for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions over the past 250 years lies with the industrialised countries of the North. Cheap energy – in the form of oil, coal and gas – has been the engine of their rapid industrialisation and economic growth.
Communities in the Global South as well as low-income communities in the industrialised North have borne the toxic burden of this fossil fuel extraction, transportation and production. Now these communities are facing the worst impacts of climate change – from food shortages to the inundation of whole island nations.
Solutions to this crisis promoted by climate justice groups include:
- leaving fossil fuels in the ground and investing instead in appropriate energy-efficiency and safe, clean and community-led renewable energy
- radically reducing wasteful consumption, first and foremost in the North, but also by Southern elites
- huge financial transfers from North to South, based on the repayment of climate debts and subject to democratic control. The costs of adaptation and mitigation should be paid for by redirecting military budgets, innovative taxes and debt cancellation.
- rights-based resource conservation that enforces Indigenous land rights and promotes peoples’ sovereignty over energy, forests, land and water.
- sustainable family farming and fishing, and peoples’ food sovereignty.
The information above reflects the principles of Climate Justice Now!, a network of organisations and movements from across the globe committed to the fight for genuine solutions to the climate crisis.
South African Civil Society has launched a website for organising around the Durban Climate Conference