The Case for Climate Justice


Flood Climate Credit: Peter Richards/IPS

  • by Kibo Ngowi (johannesburg)Friday, September 01, 2023
  • JOHANNESBURG, Sep 01 (IPS) – If you’ve never seen a landslide before, it’s a terrifying force of nature. The It is as if the very ground you stand on is rebelling against the changing climate and its impact on the delicate balance of the environment.

Hari’s story is just one example of how climate change disproportionately affects the most vulnerable communities, including low-income populations, indigenous peoples, communities of color, and women and children, who contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions but bear the brunt of its consequences.

This is why we need climate justice – the fair and equitable treatment of all individuals and communities, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized, in the context of addressing and responding to climate change. Climate justice recognizes that the impacts of climate change are not distributed equally and that the groups that are the most severely affected by the consequences of climate change contribute the least to the underlying causes of the problem.

The Climate Inclusion Fellowship

Starting in 2022, Accountability Lab (AL) Nepal hosted a Climate Inclusion Fellowship in which they recruited 12 young Nepali women interested in climate justice to reach out to different communities affected by climate change and to amplify the concerns and personal experiences of these communities through creative storytelling methods and mediums.

“Our goal was to build a network of young people who would not only identify the most pressing impacts of climate change, but would also be there to collaboratively uncover solutions to these problems with the people most affected,” explains Prekkshya Bimali, a Program Officer at AL Nepal who managed the fellowship. We Climate This has left scores of women overburdened with the task of maintaining households and raising children while also trying to earn an income.

Another important story the fellows uncovered was that of the Jalari community, an indigenous community in the city of Pokhara whose livelihood is dependent on fishing and has been heavily impacted by climate change. Since U “So it was essential to reach out to these communities to understand the consequences of climate change from their perspective and how they are directly affected.”

Prekkshya explains that the goal of producing the short films on these issues was to amplify the voices of the affected communities and to also create dialogue between these communities and local authorities. She These We are hopeful that these discussions will lead to meaningful change in the lives of the people most affected by climate change.”

Green Accountability

“It’s essential that we elevate communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, especially indigenous communities, in shaping climate finance and solutions, because we won’t be successful without them,” says Grace Sinaga, Communications and Knowledge Management team lead at the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA). “This is something we at the GPSA like to call green accountability.” Accountability Lab is partnering with the GPSA on a new initiative to drive green accountability globally.

Grace goes on to highlight how in Australia, whenever bushfires occur, disaster management experts have found that community led action is more sustainable and effective in the long run. The indigenous people honor their land and understand that the eucalyptus trees need fire in order to reproduce.

Australia’s indigenous peoples have been managing and controlling bushfires in ways that are effective and safe for both their communities and forests such as through cultural burning techniques for centuries. Today, the value of traditional ecological knowledge through indigenous land management experts is recognized by the Australian government and even included in school curricula.

“Unfortunately, indigenous knowledge receives only 1% of climate finance globally, despite safeguarding 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity, and less than 10% of climate funding has been prioritized for local activities,” explains Grace.

“We need to support indigenous peoples and local communities by creating systemic ways for people to have a voice and role in the climate decisions that most impact their lives. Green “For instance, you see a lot of cases of international corporations taking land away from indigenous communities and rich countries claiming they are giving out climate finance when in reality, they’re financing chocolate and ice cream stores across Asia,” he explains.

This is why it’s crucial to have transparency measures that clearly map out what climate finance is, where it is going, who is implementing it, and what kind of impact it is meant to create. These measures would enable the most severely affected communities to better be able to track where climate finance is actually flowing.

“These people must logically be the ones that will be developing and implementing the solutions because local communities have a lot of knowledge that can be used for more effective climate action, both in mitigation and also in adaptation,” says Bakalovic.

“And then lastly, on accountability, it’s just about having governance measures in place that are used for avoiding corruption, have real oversight allowed for monitoring, tracking for effectiveness measurements. And this also really depends on the state and on the global and national levels.”

Justice for all

Climate justice is not just an abstract concept; it is a pressing need for humanity’s survival and well-being. Climate As extreme weather events become more frequent and intense, it is crucial to recognize that those who contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions are often the ones who bear the heaviest burden.

Efforts like the Climate Inclusion Fellowship and green accountability initiative are steps in the right direction, empowering communities to be part of the solution and ensuring that climate finance reaches those who need it the most. We must continue to amplify the voices of the affected, engage with local authorities, and foster dialogue to bring about meaningful change.

Climate justice calls for a fair and equitable response to climate change, recognizing the interconnectedness of our world and the shared responsibility we have in protecting it. We The Let us work together to safeguard our planet and ensure a just and livable world for generations to come.

Kibo Ngowi

is Communications Officer at

Accountability Lab Global

(c) Inter Press Service (2023) — All Rights Reserved

Original source: Inter Press Service

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