The importance of climate justice

ByHarry Gardiner

The importance of climate justice

A few weeks ago we looked at climate change work done by the Elders, a group of independent global leaders that was founded by Nelson Mandela. There were calls for an end to fossil fuel subsidies and now one of their members, Mary Robinson, is following up with a focus on fact- and evidence-based science to determine the global policy agenda on climate change and support for scientists as they stand against critics and cynics in politics and the media.

Robinson is a former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In a recent article she says, “I speak a lot about the importance of climate justice – that it is unacceptable for the poorest, most vulnerable people on the planet to suffer the most from climate change when they have done the least to cause it.”

While climate change deniers encourage scepticism the parts of the world where climate change can be seen in full and devastating force are growing. Too often it is the poorest members of society that are the most vulnerable.

Whether it is flooding in Bangladesh or famine in sub-Saharan Africa there are increasing millions of people directly affected by climate change. As Robinson says above, it disproportionately affects the poorest people whose housing, healthcare, education and infrastructure is already at risk. When floods wipe out their homes or famine destroys their business there is nothing to fall back on.

Robinson encourages us to put pressure on our governments to stand by the Paris Agreement which set important goals for action on climate change and to support the activists, movements and scientists that are leading the fight against it. At the Gardiner Foundation we are taking that message to heart and will be sharing and highlighting the work done in tackling climate change.

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