Why Climate Justice?

While a global threat, climate change is experienced highly unevenly, impacting most severely those who have least contributed to the crisis: IBPOC, working class and precarious communities/people. In many ways, climate change is the logical conclusion of colonial and extractive ideologies with racial, gender and class hierarchies at their core.

Climate science focuses on the proximate drivers of climate change, but a crucial question remains: How will politics, society, and the economy be reconfigured – within a decade – to tackle the climate crisis in a way that doesn’t deepen existing inequalities?

Climate justice calls for transforming socio-ecological knowledge and action to foreground radical equality and freedom from the unequal burdens of rapidly changing environments. Collaboration with the communities most impacted will be central to this task. 


What Should the Role of the University be in Climate Justice?

At the Center for Climate Justice, we take seriously Stuart Hall’s statement that “the university is a critical institution or it is nothing.”

As a Centre for Climate Justice, we aim to utilize the university’s resources and capacities in service of those working towards environmentally just transformation. This means working beyond the bounds of the academy in innovative ways by bringing together activists, policy makers, elders, scholars, and communities to translate and evaluate demands, community action, and policy.

As a Centre operating on traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nation, this work takes place in the spirit of repair.

That includes an ongoing attempt to repair damage done to our collective knowledge through the systemic exclusion of IBPOC  and non-European experts and knowledge holders, including through extractive, unaccountable research practices in frontline communities.


How Will We Move Towards Climate Justice?

At the Center for Climate Justice, we start from the premise that a society bounded by ecological limits and guided by reparative justice is both possible and humanity’s best chance of avoiding collapse. 

With this guiding principle, the Centre aims to foster discussion of the ideas and actions required to bring climate justice into being in alliance/collaboration with local and frontline communities, social movements and institutions. Our focus is both local and global because nationalist responses to a global crisis are inherently unjust.

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