Why Climate Justice?
For decades issues of justice, equity, racism and inequality, as well as the agency and demands of movements from the global South and justice-focused activists in the Global North, have been deliberately marginalised and actively opposed by mainstream environmentalism. The dominant framework and theory of change has framed climate change mainly through the lens of carbon reductions – relegating questions of power, justice and the economic system to the bottom of the agenda – whilst focusing primarily on strategies of insider advocacy to tweak policies that would not challenge the status quo.
The climate justice movement in the Global North has often remained fragmented, mostly focusing on individual site battles and campaigns, and is still in the early stages building an approach to build collective power that can connect across other movements and sites of struggle.
Building intersectional coalitions, and bridging the divide between mainstream environmentalism and justice groups, including movements around racial justice and social justice, is key to achieving an economic transformation that not only tackles emissions, but also inequality and injustice.
Originally organising around COP26, the collective of organisations in the coalition realised that this work needed to go beyond Glasgow and beyond just organising around the COP process. It requires a long term, broad coalition that could further the climate justice movement in a range of ways. Below are the structures and strategies the CJC has been developing to achieve this.
Coalition Aims and Principles
- Justice and equal protection for all
The coalition is building a broad, diverse and inclusive movement of movements across Britain and Ireland that is centred around Climate Justice and connected to Global movements. The coalition understands that all forms of oppression are intertwined, and achieving equitable solutions for climate change requires collective action that addresses issues related to economic, racial, gender, social, health justice, and workers’ rights.
- Community centred
The coalition’s foundations are building capacity in community coalitions, building collective power and leverage from the ground up: supporting local organising and integration with national groups, caucuses, and international perspectives.
- Equal representation
The Coalition should represent a range of constituencies across the breadth of Climate Justice, within our decision making bodies as well as on the ground.
- Increase visibility and amplify marginalised voices
We seek to lift up the voices of those underrepresented individuals or groups, and to ensure that their perspectives, experiences, and needs are heard and taken into account. The Coalition should not be dominated by well-resourced groups;
We are building a coalition where decision making is transparent and based on consensus.
- Radical Change
We work to actively challenge and disrupt business-as-usual to push for justice-based solutions that challenge systems at every level of government and society.
- Taking action
The coalition empowers and supports others to take action for climate justice. We lead by example and provide support and resources to help others get involved and make a difference. We understand the importance of collective action and seek to build momentum towards creating positive change.
Sharpen and challenge our collective thinking and vision for climate justice;
- Respect and care
The Coalition prioritises safe and regenerative spaces for organising. As we work towards creating a society that prioritises care and repair, we are dedicated to unlearning behaviours and beliefs that are harmful and to recognizing and respecting our own and others’ boundaries. We understand that this process requires ongoing reflection, education, and growth, and we are committed to supporting each other as we strive towards a more just and compassionate world.