People are talking about and demanding “Climate Justice.” But what does the term actually mean, and how do we get it?
Inequalities of energy consumption, and other resources like water and food are the biggest causes of climate injustice. Energy is responsible for 75% of all carbon emissions, and therefore is the highest priority.
The main debate around climate justice is about disparities involved in tackling climate change. Rich countries can adapt in ways that poor countries cannot, and rich people can adapt in ways poor people cannot – turning up the aircon during hot weather, for example.
Going off-grid and switching to renewables is the biggest step that wealthy economies can take – because it leads to the sharpest reductions in energy consumption.
As we all begin to adapt to the new climate reality – here are some ways to a just transition:
- Develop detailed, openly available and accessible evacuation and communication plans. There will be more chemical disasters. For example, higher temperatures warp train tracks, causing more derailments.
- Encourage school systems to not only teach climate change and earth preservation but also to adapt educational methods and instructor and parental support for an increasingly stressed society.
- Ensure Homeowners Associations and landlords to focus on life-saving priorities, like getting communities off the grid and sustaining local gardens and food options for residents.
- Create inventives for philanthropy to pour more funding into environmental causes and the climate change transition. Such as matching funds from provate business or government.
- Invovle nonprofits to plan and support existing local solutions that don’t depend on national or international shipping of goods and services.
Do what you can. Collaborate, don’t compete. Support communities that are already disproportionately impacted (communities of color, rural communities and communities of lower economic status). Let them lead the way. They already are.
We can all do something, but we have to talk about it first.