Have You Ever Heard of Climate Justice?
Updated: May 19
In recent times, green education has become a notable concept, and with so many changes in our climate, as well as the blaring need to protect our environment, it is only necessary that there are laws which guide and bring justice and fairness in our dealings with the ecosystem.
But let's start with the basics.
What is Climate Justice?
As a concept, Climate Justice addresses 'the just division, fair sharing, and equitable distribution of the burdens of climate change, its mitigation and responsibilities.'
Climate Injustice speaks to the thought (and very true fact) that although the wealthy and powerful are the root of climate change, it is vulnerable people, that are affected the most. A case in point is the 2020 World Bank data which showed that the countries which had the lowest CO2 emissions (lowest carbon footprint) per capita are the countries most affected by the climate crisis.
Even the media reporting of climate cases is biased, unjust and tilted towards the West. Everyone heard about the 2022 heatwaves which affected more developed nations but fewer media coverage was given to 'developing countries.' Think about it. Did you hear about the floods in Nigeria? Or the wildfires in Algeria? Or the droughts in Kazakhstan?
It is obvious that climate justice embodies a lot of injustices at its root, including environmental, racial, social, inequality (as seen above), and health injustice, and there is a pressing need to address all the forms in one.
Environmental and climate justice are recognized civil rights issues. Climate justice entails representation, inclusion and protection of these climate rights, especially to those who are most vulnerable to it, which includes sectors and regions that are most impacted by environmental hazards and injustice.
Justice is a fundamental aspect of human order, and justice on the climate, which is our immediate habitation, is as big a necessity in the same regard.
Who is most affected by Climate Injustice?
We already know that Climate Justice is focused on recognising the responsibility of wealthier countries to lead rapid climate action and supporting developing countries to cope with the impacts of climate change and transition to greener and more climate-resilient economies.
Developing countries are most vulnerable because of their limited access to finance, so they are more at risk of damage and swift losses.
While everyone feels the brunt of climate change and perhaps its injustice, developing countries are prone to the depositing of toxic emissions carbons, by highly industrialized countries and sectors like transportation, and fast fashion. These countries bear the brunt of toxic waste and global warming.
So what are the big questions?
Is this the year that justice for those who have contributed respectively little to emissions, but feel the brunt of its impacts, get support from the major emitters?
How often is this conversation taught and the ignorance of it brought to light?
Is there a silencing of Climate injustice, and intricate oppression that the sufferers are subjected to?
What role are both parties (the emitters and the sufferers) willing to play in ensuring climate justice?
The depletion of the ozone layer, the droughts and famine, the wildfires and heatwaves, affect the world and it will surely get worse. So don't think 'this doesn't affect me', instead remember that it hasn't affected you yet.
Read more about The Six Pillars of Climate Justice
Learn more about the Global Youth Climate Movement
Read about how the Climate Justice Movement started!
Learn about measures you can take to ensure your actions can achieve Climate Change
Check out data on Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Read this report on UNICEF's Climate Roundtable with youth
Young people play and have played a huge role in the climate movement, and you can too!
Read more about Climate Justice (Check out our read-more prompts above!)
Sign petitions which push for Climate Justice
Support eco-friendly businesses and activities like tree-planting initiatives
Advocate and speak up against Climate injustice, the need for green energy and emission taxation and sanctions
Go out of your way to read about how climate change is affecting all countries and learn about how you can help.
WRITTEN BY Queen 'Kwyn' Ernest.
Queen 'Kwyn' Ernest is a writer, reader, serial volunteer, and a few more things in between. She is passionate about writing and speaking on social education, for children, teenagers, and young adults because she believes 'our psyche is our life'. She tests hurtful societal stereotypes and hopes to change them, ten words at a time. When she's neither writing, reading nor volunteering she's trying to figure out life and living, overthinking, or speaking her messy Spanish and pretending that she's an actress.
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EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development professional passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs. She is passionate about showing young people that they can change the world with the smallest actions.
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