Why climate justice matters

At the heart of climate change action is the realization that nothing can be achieved without climate justice.

Climate justice (CJ) is a subset of the broader concept of Environmental Justice (EJ).

The most comprehensive definition of EJ includes these four principles: equitable distribution of environmental risks and benefits; fair and meaningful participation in environmental decision-making; recognition of community ways of life, local knowledge, and cultural difference; and the capability of communities and individuals to function and flourish in society.
CJ has a much more fluid definition, but generally means examining issues such as equality, human rights, collective rights and historical responsibility in relation to climate change. It needs to be recognized that ‘those least responsible for climate change are experiencing its greatest impacts’. The opportunity to address this fact is central to the climate justice agenda, which is that CJ needs to be included at the centre of the continents’ development agenda.

As part of this, sufficient resources for climate action must be made available to developing countries from developed countries, and the latter must also work in cooperation with developing countries to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals are achieved.

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