Climate justice and the search for intersectional solutions
The primary task of the climate justice movement is to be intersectional in understanding the socially unequal distribution of climate change causes and impacts. To recognise how one’s identity shapes their unique experiences and relation to climate change is imperative. This means exploring different social groups' vulnerability to climate impacts along with their contribution to environmental degradation. Doing so allows for climate solutions to be fair, pushing for equity in all forms. Where the issue of climate change can be overwhelming, drawing focus to a climate justice perspective can aid in breaking down the problem into digestible forms.
Those holding the economic power should take responsibility…
Recognising climate justice’s entanglement with economics highlights a need to hold big corporations accountable. Individual actions are important, but when 71% of all emissions have been produced by large scale energy companies, we learn who holds the power to make radical change. Utilising international courts, protesting and being aware of where our money goes are all important facets to this. There should be a strive to reach net-zero well before the targeted 2050. The targets set at COP27 are simply not far-reaching enough as climate impacts are happening now; therefore, we need to see big corporations make rapid change imminently.
To reach climate justice we need to address racial injustice…
Racial justice must also be drawn focus to. Recognising that Indigenous communities, black communities and people of colour (BIPOC) are the victims of the climate crisis will allow climate justice to sit within the goal to reach racial justice. Environmental harm fuels racial inequality. Becoming aware of this can implement change that places BIPOC communities at the forefront: for example, prioritising Indigenous land and culture above fossil fuel extraction, while also diversifying the voices within the climate justice movement to represent the, often unheard or misrepresented, perspectives of BIPOC communities.
…along with gender justice
Actions can be made toward gender equality to aid in climate justice. With restrictions on their rights and access, which is amplified if from a BIPOC community, the impact of climate change on women is undeniable. Having more women in decision-making positions of power can help to balance the scale and provide insight into the reality of our changing climate. As women are also on the front lines of this catastrophe, seeking to understand their outlook and achieving justice for them is important. Treating all people equally, regardless of their gender identity or sex, is imperative. Doing so will increase the heard perspectives and simultaneous solutions.
Recognition and empowerment is the key…
Ultimately, climate justice is important in its connection to economics, race and gender. Solving climate change without addressing the entanglement of equity issues is ignorant to root causes and effects. We must listen to and empower those on the front lines. This is a white, man-made problem; and so, implementing this within solutions can work to recognise who has the power to make a difference and who deserves the congruent justice.