I would like to recommend a post written by James Boyce from the TripleCrisis blog – “The Climate Justice Imperative”. Though Boyce writes about the US, I think that his recommendations are generalizable for all developed countries. In his text he points out that there are four pillars that make climate justice critical:
- Action: since climate change will affect the poorest most (first because they are living in highly vulnerable regions, secondly because they mostly have no means to do much against the (consequences of) climate change), we cannot but help them by taking action.
- Adaptation: adaptation to climate change is critical, since some of its consequences are unavoidable due to system inertia – but the poor are not capable to deal with them, so they need our help.
- Co-benefits: there are many co-benefits linked to a switch away from burning fossil fuels, especially reductions in air pollution, and since co-pollutants dispropotionately impact poor communities, it is a matter of both climate justice and efficiency to concentrate on their members’ needs in this respect.
- Dividends: here the matter is about the need for so called “cap-and-dividend” schemes (as an alternative to “cap and trade”) I already have written about (see here and here).
Climate justice should be a very important part of the climate change discussion. Sadly, it has not been viewed important so far. But, as Boyce writes:
The time has come for a bold departure. Climate justice is not only a moral imperative. It is a political necessity.