"What does climate justice mean to you?"
To begin answering this question, it makes sense to think about the different approaches people have to large and all encompassing problems. Discussing this, myself and my boyfriend had two different propositions. As a Trainee Solicitor, my immediate thought was how justice is given through political and legal transformation when individuals across the world have experienced discrimination, oppression and maltreatment. As a Dentist, my boyfriend thought about how epidemics across the world are approached through a scientific resolution and the power of individuals to support one another through negative happenings.
There is some similarity in both of our approaches, if you consider that planet earth is part of who we are, it deserves the same treatment and ethics that we all aim to use towards humans and animals. So, why should our planet be abused and expected to continue to give for as long as we expect it to?
Over the last few decades, it has become abundantly clear how our choice to exploit our planet has lead to its sickness. As we continue to take from the Earth by mining fossil fuels, destroying forests and consuming animal produce we will only continue to cause the climate to deteriorate.
Unfortunately, this will eventually lead to an inescapable eradication of our environment as we know it. However, we all have the power to stop these negative outcomes in their tracks! It is beginning to be recognised by people all over the world that there is wrongdoing, so now people must act to try and invoke change. This can be done through small changes in your daily lives, by reusing bags, walking to work and eating less meat, but on a larger scale, my view is that four things are needed to achieve climate justice:
Firstly, people need to continue to recognise that the Earth needs our help and that, inescapably, we are all very much a part of the Earth. Moreover, that our responsibility towards the Earth therefore, cannot be disassociated from our everyday lives. Then, as individuals begin to recognise that our climate is in retrograde, my second point comes to light; the scientists among us can find ways to help people help the planet, regardless of whether that’s independently or as part of a collective. Already we have so many solutions, through our choices regarding recycling, renewable energy and consumption. We can live in a much more sustainable, healthy way. Thirdly, our actions can be used to pressurise the people with power amongst us; the politicians can introduce new policies, encourage spending in renewables and share at a higher level the importance of the fourth and final element, legal change. By introducing legal revolution, as long as other major politicians stick with it, the global community can come together to create international policies towards aiding our planet.
So, climate justice to me, means treating our planet how every living being deserves to be treated; with respect. If people continue to take advantage of the Earth’s available resources, this is no different to living in ignorance, because it is starting to show that the Earth needs a break from being polluted and we are the ones with the power to change that.