The UA Climate Justice Network brings together faculty and students interested in the unequal causes and impacts of climate change and the need for just solutions to the risks of climate change. The Network supports faculty and student activities and outreach to the local and international community through a web and resources site, small grants, speakers, workshops, and other events that focus attention on justice and climate. The network is supported by the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, and housed at the UA Institute of the Environment.
The Climate Justice Network, through this website, serves to bring people together who are concerned about climate justice. By identifying the interests of expertise of students and researchers at the University of Arizona, community groups in the Southwest, and social and environmental organizations beyond, the Network will serve to create a stronger and more effective community working toward climate justice. The Climate Justice Network will also serve as a repository for information on climate justice issues to create a more informed community, with a greater ability to advocate for change.
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.
Principles of Climate Justice
The Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice has developed a series of principles of climate justice that inform the UA Climate Justice Network:
- Respect and Protect Human Rights
- Support the Right to Development
- Share Benefits and Burdens Equitably
- Ensure that Decisions on Climate Change are Participatory, Transparent and Accountable
- Highlight Gender Equality and Equity
- Harness the Transformative Power of Education for Climate Stewardship
- Use Effective Partnerships to Secure Climate Justice