Climate justice

Climate justice

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Climate Justice is generally used as a term for viewing climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

 as an ethical issue and considering how its causes and effects relate to concepts of justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

, particularly social justice
Social justice
Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by...

 and environmental justice
Environmental justice
Environmental justice is "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." In the words of Bunyan Bryant,...

. For example examining issues such as equality
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

, human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and historical responsibility in relation to avoiding dangerous climate change
Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
The related terms "avoiding dangerous climate change" and "preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" date to 1995 and earlier, in the Second Assesment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change and previous science it cites.In 2002, the United Nations...

. 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.

The term is also used with reference to legal systems, where justice is achieved through application and development of law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 in the area of climate change.

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”

  • 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.

  • Climate Justice Now!, a global coalition of networks and organizations campaigning for climate justice, was founded at the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference
    2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference
    The 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference took place at the Bali International Conference Centre, Nusa Dua, in Bali, Indonesia, between December 3 and December 15, 2007 . Representatives from over 180 countries attended, together with observers from intergovernmental and nongovernmental...

     in Bali, Indonesia

  • In 2008 the Global Humanitarian Forum
    Global Humanitarian Forum
    The Global Humanitarian Forum was a non-profit foundation in Geneva, Switzerland, active from 2007 to 2010. Presided over by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, its secretariat was led by CEO and Director General Walter Fust. The Forum intended to serve as an independent platform...

     focused on climate justice at its inaugural Annual Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • The Climate Justice Action
    Climate Justice Action
    Climate Justice Action "is a global network of groups and individuals committed to taking action to prevent catastrophic climate change". CJA formed as part of the alternative mobilisation around the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, and organised mass Direct actions...

     Network formed during the 2009 COP 15 mobilisation, and organised civil disobedience
    Civil disobedience
    Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

     and direct action
    Direct action
    Direct action is activity undertaken by individuals, groups, or governments to achieve political, economic, or social goals outside of normal social/political channels. This can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the 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.

  • In April 2010 the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth took place in Tiquipaya
    Tiquipaya is a town in the Cochabamba Department in central Bolivia. It is the seat of the Tiquipaya Municipality, the third municipal section of the Quillacollo Province.- References :...

    , Bolivia
    Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

    , just outside the city of Cochabamba
    Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest city in Bolivia with an urban population of 608,276 and a metropolitan population of more than 1,000,000 people...

    . 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.

Groups/organisations linked to 'climate justice'

See also

  • Social justice
    Social justice
    Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by...

  • Climate debt
    Climate debt
    Climate debt is a theoretical concept which has been submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by over fifty countries including Bolivia, Bhutan, Malaysia, Micronesia, Sri Lanka, Paraguay, Venezuela and the Group of Least Developed countries, representing 49 of the...

  • Global Justice Movement
    Global Justice Movement
    The Global Justice Movement is a network or constellation of globalized social movements opposing what is often known as the “corporate globalization” and promoting equal distribution of economic resources.-Movement of movements:...

  • Deliberative democracy
    Deliberative democracy
    Deliberative democracy is a form of democracy in which public deliberation is central to legitimate lawmaking. It adopts elements of both consensus decision-making and majority rule. Deliberative democracy differs from traditional democratic theory in that authentic deliberation, not mere...

  • Earth Summit
    Earth Summit
    The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development , also known as the Rio Summit, Rio Conference, Earth Summit was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 June to 14 June 1992.-Overview:...

     of 1992
  • Ecojustice Canada
    Ecojustice canada
    Ecojustice Canada , is a Canadian non-profit environmental law firm that uses litigation to defend and protect the environment.-Mission:...

  • Equity
    Equity theory
    Equity theory is a theory that attempts to explain relational satisfaction in terms of perceptions of fair/unfair distributions of resources within interpersonal relationships...

  • Greenhouse Development Rights
    Greenhouse Development Rights
    Greenhouse Development Rights is a justice-based effort-sharing framework designed to show how the costs of rapid climate stabilization can be shared fairly, among all countries...

  • Green banking
  • United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
    United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
    The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was an international conference convened under United Nations auspices held in Stockholm, Sweden from June 5–16, 1972...

     of 1972

Further reading

  • Vandana Shiva
    Vandana Shiva
    Vandana Shiva , is a philosopher, environmental activist, and eco feminist. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books and over 500 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. She was trained as a physicist and received her Ph.D...

    - 2005, Earth Democracy; Justice, Sustainability, and Peace, South End Press, ISBN 0-89608-745-X ; See the online "preview" version of this book at this link