Research has shown that climate change has, and will continue to, exacerbate social, political, and economic inequity. In many of the world’s highest carbon-producing nations, low-income, historically-marginalized, and low carbon-producing communities will shoulder the heaviest burden; one that is drastically disproportionate to the degree of responsibility that these communities have had on creating the climate crisis. People without adequate access to healthcare will need increased care. People with limited access to affordable and nutritious foods will have fewer options. We can no longer afford to separate environmental issues from social inequity. Environmental justice must be social justice.
Keep this question in mind as you navigate this section: how do the problems associated with our changing climate intersect with current societal challenges?
- When Environmental Racism and Climate Change Collide The Guardian
- Climate Change, Violence, and Young People, UNICEF
- Climate of Health Stanford News
- Effects of Climate Change on Disease Stanford News
- Effects of climate Change on Hunger Stanford News
- Effects of Climate Change on Water Shortages Stanford News
- Effects of Climate Change on Violence Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science
- Humanitarian World, the Fight Against Climate Change and Hunger Continue Huffington Post
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goals United Nations
- The Refugees the World Barely Pays Attention To National Public Radio
- Racism & Climate Change 350.org
- Climate Change and Inequalities United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
1. In light of a changing climate, is it possible to address social challenges without addressing climate change? Why or why not?
2. What challenges do you see associated with a changing climate?
3. Write and Reflect (20 Minutes)
For twenty minutes, reflect on and respond to this prompt: Across the Earth, people are working at local, national, and international levels to address social challenges. If evidence suggests that a changing climate will exacerbate these challenges, why do you think there is such a reluctance to prioritize climate justice? Share your thoughts with at least one other person.