Climate Justice shows how global warming is an ethical and political issue, rather than one that is purely environmental or physical in nature. Those who are least responsible for climate change suffer its gravest consequences. Low-income residents and communities of color in California and around the world already suffer from dirty water and smog-filled air. We must unveil and end the institutionalized racism and classism that allow us to locate refineries and other polluting industries in marginalized communities if we hope to create a sustainable future for all of our children.
Here’s how climate change policies could end up widening the wealth gap
The Rich Get More Aid After Floods, New Research Shows
Summer in the City Is Hot, but Some Neighborhoods Suffer More
The New York Times—As the United States suffers through a summer of record-breaking heat, brought on by the escalating climate crisis, new research shows that temperatures on a scorching summer day can vary as much as 20 degrees across different parts of the same city, with poor or minority neighborhoods often bearing the brunt of that heat. This New York Times story with accompanying maps and photos shows how and why this is true in Baltimore, MD; Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; Portland, OR; and Albuquerque, NM. READ MORE
Homelessness is already a crisis—but climate change makes it much worse
Fast Company—AUGUST 7, 2019 It’s time to stop treating the housing crisis and the climate crisis as two separate issues—and start designing solutions for both at once. When the Camp Fire devastated Paradise, CA last fall, 15,000 homes were destroyed leaving around 50,000 people displaced. Only around 10%—have been able to return. Many of the rest are still struggling to find housing, a steep task in California where the costs of renting or owning a home are among the highest in the country. READ MORE
New Orleans, LA, August 30, 2005 — People sit on a roof waiting to be rescued after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans is being evacuated as a result of flooding caused by hurricane Katrina. Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA
Climate Change Exacerbates the Affordable Housing Shortage
Scientific American—AUGUST 7, 2019 The Center for American Progress report released Thursday found that there is a national shortage of 7 million homes for low-income renters. This shortage disproportionately affects disabled people and minority communities that also have the fewest resources to recover from natural disasters linked to climate change. READ MORE
A Brief History of Environmental Justice
Landfills, chemical waste facilities and power plants are more often built in poor and minority communities, which don’t have the power or money to advocate for themselves. For decades, these communities have called for environmental justice: the idea that people shouldn’t be forced to deal with more pollution because they belong to a certain race, national origin or income bracket.
How the climate crisis contributes to the immigration crisis
Alliance for Climate Education—JULY 10, 2019 Climate change and immigration are connected now more than ever. Hear from youth across the country why climate justice means migrant justice. By the end of 2016. 65.6 million displaced people fled their homelands because of issues intensified by the climate crisis.
The Story of Climate Justice
Greenpeace International—MAY 22, 2018 The ongoing Human Rights and Climate Change investigation turns the spotlight on the experiences of Filipinos. It’s a chance for their story to be heard. Add your name to support people and communities taking action on #ClimateJustice. LEARN MORE
Why Climate Change Is a Threat to Human Rights
Mary Robinson was the first woman President of Ireland and served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002. She describes why climate change is unfair. While rich countries can fight against rising oceans and dying farm fields, poor people around the world are already having their lives upended — and their human rights threatened — by killer storms, starvation and the loss of their own lands.
The Standing Rock resistance and our fight for indigenous rights
TED Talks, Tara Houska—APRIL 30, 2018 Indigenous peoples are uniting to protect the world’s water, lands and history—while trying to heal from genocide and ongoing inequality. Tribal attorney and Couchiching First Nation citizen Tara Houska shares history and describes the months-long standoff at Standing Rock which rallied thousands around the world. READ MORE
The Hill—April 15, 2019 Latino communities are disproportionately impacted by record-setting heat waves, drier, more arid conditions in the Southwest, and more frequent and severe droughts. They also lack access to prepare for or adapt to these conditions which have troubling consequences on public health, job security and economic productivity. READ MORE
We must talk about race to fix economic inequality & combat the climate crisis
Racism is the belief in a hierarchy of human value. More than 1 million African Americans live within a half-mile of oil and natural gas wells, processing, transmission and storage facilities (not including oil refineries). Emissions from oil and gas facilities cause over 138,000 asthma attacks and over 100,000 missed school days each year. READ MORE
Amira, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
Amira resides in Bayamon, Puerto Rico just south of San Juan. A week after Hurricane Maria, Amira gathered volunteers to hand out fruit trees and seeds to impacted rural families. With an estimated 80% of crops lost in the storm, Amira hopes planting fruit trees now will assist in rebuilding food security in the most impacted communities.
Climate and Environmental Justice
This animation incorporates and elevates feminist alternative solutions to climate and environmental justice encapsulating the link between gender justice, economic justice and environmental and climate justice. Reversing this catastrophic climate crisis requires a deep systemic change to our economic, political and social structures along with the promotion of climate and environmental justice that places people and planet at the core.
Environmental justice, explained
The harm that comes with rising seas and contaminated water systems isn’t evenly distributed. Those who are already disadvantaged by race, wealth, and income are usually the most affected by environmental disasters. Without recognizing that inequality, we can’t solve the problems with our water, air, and soil in ways that serve the people who need it most. Environmental justice is critical to planning an equitable, sustainable future.