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What is Climate Justice?

CorpWatch
November 1st, 1999

Climate Justice means, first of all, removing the causes of global warming and allowing the Earth to continue to nourish our lives and those of all living beings. This entails radically reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Climate Justice means opposing destruction wreaked by the Greenhouse Gangsters at every step of the production and distribution process -- from a moratorium on new oil exploration, to stopping the poisoning of communities by refinery emissions -- from drastic domestic reductions in auto emissions, to the promotion of efficient and effective public transportation.

Climate Justice in the United States means the solutions adopted to ward off global warming can't fall hardest on low income communities, communities of color, or the workers employed by the fossil fuel industry. Climate Justice means fostering a just transition for these constituencies to a healthier and more just environment to work and live in.

Climate Justice means providing assistance to communities threatened or impacted by climate change, such as the communities devastated by Hurricanes Mitch and Floyd.

Climate Justice means that while all countries should participate in the drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the industrialized nations, which historically and currently are most responsible for global warming, should lead this transformation. The United States, which emits about 25 percent of greenhouse gasses, must in particular be at the forefront of this transformation.

Climate Justice for developing nations means that international institutions such as the World Bank and World Trade Organization should halt their funding and promotion of corporate-led fossil fuel-based globalization and instead foster the transformation to sustainable and equitable development based on clean energy technologies.

Ultimately, Climate Justice means holding fossil fuel corporations accountable for the central role they play in contributing to global warming. This signifies challenging these companies at every level -- from the production and marketing of the fossil fuels themselves, to their underhanded political influence, to their PR prowess, to the unjust "solutions" they propose, to the fossil fuel-based globalization they are driving. Climate Justice means stripping transnational corporations of the tremendous power they hold over our lives, and in its place building democracy at the local, national and international levels.

(Excerpted from Greenhouse Gangsters vs. Climate Justice, TRAC/CorpWatch, November 1999)