Climate Justice

It’s about more than slowing emissions.

Many of the impacts of climate change are locked in, no matter how well (or poorly) our ongoing efforts to slow carbon emissions. The main question for researchers at SEI is how we might think about environmental and climate justice in terms of adaptation to climate change.

One of the main focus areas of climate justice advocates has been the potential of a broad range of inequities created or exacerbated by climate change – inequities that impact already vulnerable communities. These inequities can be seen at the level of the individual (health, for example), community (livelihoods, culture), and political structure (governance transparency). A climate justice-based conception of adaptation also means looking beyond distributive conceptions of ‘justice’. 

Adaptation has been framed in a way to bridge environmental justice, climate justice, and social justice for the vulnerable more generally. A climate justice approach to adaptation keeps the focus on building adaptive capacity by alleviating poverty, reducing vulnerability, and developing community-based ideas and support for adaptation policy.