What is Climate Justice?
Climate justice frames climate issues as questions of social justice, raising ethical and political concerns about who drives climate change and vulnerability, who is most affected by climate change and variability, who makes decisions about responding to climate change, and how climate policy can address problems of inequality and socially just development. For example, climate change is primarily caused by greenhouse emissions from richer countries and people, yet it is usually the poor and disadvantaged in society who are most vulnerable to the consequences. The responses to climate change can also raise questions of justice – such as who wins and who loses from reducing emissions by moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy or planting trees, or the unequal impacts of adapting to warmer climate and sea level rise through agricultural technologies and sea walls. Climate justice is both a research topic and a call to action. We can document the causes and consequences of climate change, the processes of decision making, and the impacts of climate responses. But we can also join – as citizens - with communities and organizations who are demanding a fair and just response to the risks of climate change and ensure that our research addresses the concerns of the most vulnerable, is accessible, and can inform just transitions to a more sustainable society.