Climate justice: solving the climate crisis equitably

The battle against climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time. But how exactly we rise to this challenge is crucial. Join us as we explore what climate justice is, how it differs from more 'traditional' climate activism, and how we can support more equitable climate solutions.

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What is ‘climate justice’?

Climate justice urges us to confront not only the environmental aspects of climate change - but also the social and economic inequalities that are deeply intertwined within it. 

It asks us to dig deep into the roots and foundations of climate disaster, and face the reality of its unequal impacts. Ensuring that the ideas and systems that contributed to the crisis are not replicated in our efforts to recover.

To understand the need for climate justice, we must first acknowledge that climate change is a byproduct of capitalism, which itself has historical ties to colonialism, slavery, extraction, and a relentless pursuit of progress at any cost.

Paradoxically, the regions responsible for the least emissions are often the ones suffering the most from climate change. With the burden falling disproportionately on poorer countries.

This concise video from Earthrise does a good job of explaining the origins of climate change.

How is this different from 'traditional' climate activism?

Mainstream climate activism, especially in the Western world, has often taken a more direct and narrowly-focused approach to climate action. It typically concentrates on reducing emissions at all costs, which - while a vital aspect of the solution, can neglect underlying systemic issues.

Without climate justice, we risk perpetuating the same mistakes that brought us into this crisis in the first place.

Allowing corporations and billionaires to lead the way, instead of holding higher-emitting countries accountable for their actions, merely reinforces the existing power structures that got us into this predicament.

Real world examples 

Just a few recent examples of climate justice action:

  • The Land Back movement has seen Indigenous peoples across the world have land returned to their guardianship. Including in the USA, where a coalition of 10 local tribes will now oversee 500 acres of Redwood forest on the California coast.
  • The Ella’s Law project was launched in memory of Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi Debrah, who died in 2013 at the age of nine as a result of asthma, caused largely by exposure to excessive air pollution in London. Ella was the first person in England to have air pollution named as a cause of death by a coroner. The law would establish the right for all people in the UK to breathe clean air as a basic human right (You can sign the bill here.)
  • Hazel M Thompson, often credited as the Mother of the American Environmental Justice movement, spent her life mapping the effects of industrial pollutants in her neighbourhood of Altgeld Gardens. Charting key correlations between death and diseases, and the placement of these sites - most often in black and brown communities.

Becoming Climate Justice Advocates

So, how can we become advocates for climate justice? Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Educate Ourselves: Actively educate ourselves on climate justice, its history, and its core principles. Understanding the interconnectedness of climate change with broader societal issues is the first step toward meaningful change.
  2. Support Just Policies: Support policies and officials who prioritise a just and equitable transition to a sustainable future. Advocate for measures that address the systemic inequalities at the heart of the climate crisis.
  3. Choose Allies Wisely: Collaborate with organisations and businesses that genuinely align with climate justice principles. Avoid those that engage in "greenwashing" or promote "false solutions." True climate justice requires transparency and sincerity in our actions.


The climate crisis is not just about saving the planet; it's also about rectifying historical injustices and building a world where everyone can thrive. As individuals, we have a role to play in shaping this future, and our actions today can make a significant difference in the world of tomorrow.

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