Climate Justice for a Changing Planet: A Guide for Policy Makers and NGOs12 Dec 2009
There is little doubt that climate change will lead to unprecedented changes in the natural environment, which will in turn affect the way we live, with potentially dramatic consequences on our health, energy sources and food production systems.
There is also increasing recognition that these impacts are being felt disproportionately by poor people who already live under precarious conditions. Climate change, with its many facets, further exacerbates existing inequalities faced by these vulnerable groups. It threatens to undermine the realization of fundamental rights for many people and to reverse progress made towards the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is a global justice concern that those who suffer most from climate change have done the least to cause it.
The concept of climate justice acknowledges that because the world’s richest countries have contributed most to the problem, they have a greater obligation to take action and to do so more quickly. However, many fear that whatever international agreement is reached between governments, it will compound the already unjust burden on the poor and vulnerable. A rapidly growing number of social movements and civil society organizations across the world are mobilizing around this climate justice agenda. Citizens from both the South and the North are drawn to this concept, in part, because many are already experiencing the impacts of climate change and they worry about the fate of their families, homes and livelihoods.
It is the role of NGLS to ensure that these voices and perspectives are brought to the table. These voices can help lead to more innovative forms of collaboration to address daunting global challenges. Our experience suggests that the solutions to the problems that we face as a planet will only succeed if they have both broad input and broad ownership from all stakeholders.
Climate Justice for a Changing Planet: A Primer for Policy Makers and NGOs examines how to move towards a climate justice agenda and to ensure that equity is at the core of any solution to climate change. It compiles the latest research and analysis made by several international organizations and by the aforementioned civil society movement, highlighting in particular the need for climate change to be addressed simultaneously with the furthering of the international development agenda, achieving poverty reduction goals and respecting international human rights norms. It clearly demonstrates that climate justice is not only an ethical imperative, but also an economic and social one.