Climate Justice

Climate justice is a term that’s often used and yet poorly understood and some would argue, incorrectly used. Since climate justice is the core motivation for the work we do as Oil Free Wellington, we thought we would share how we define it. We’d love to hear your thoughts about what it means to you
What Climate Justice means to Oil Free Wellington
Earlier this year we updated our kaupapa, Oil Free Wellington’s core vision and process document, to include a definition of climate justice which we came to collectively after a planning day where we brainstormed what climate justice means to us. Here is what we came up with:
Oil Free Wellington works with climate justice as our core motivation, and looks to climate justice in order to decide what issues to work on, and how to address these issues. This is how we define climate justice:
At the heart of the climate justice movement is a principle which connects its diverse and localised efforts and differentiates it from other approaches to dealing with climate change: a recognition that the massive environmental crises we face are consequences of deep, fundamental and unequal economic and social power relations.
We’re not all in this together! Climate Justice recognises that underdeveloped or poor countries and peoples, especially Indigenous Peoples, small farming-based communities and women,
will be and already are the hardest hit by the effects of climate change. However, the vast amount of historical responsibility for climate change lies with rich industrialised countries and big business.
Mainstream debate and discourse around climate change does not challenge the ideas of a profit-driven economic system which in large part created the problem. Instead, the mainstream discourse uses its logic to come up with ‘solutions’ that ignore the root causes of climate change.
Working for climate justice means that we work in ways which acknowledge the Interrelatedness of oppressions and injustices; it means challenging the underlying myths and stories our society perpetuates that make climatechange possible.
For us working for climate justice also means challenging these injustices in the way we work too. It means working to acknowledge and break down power imbalances not just in society but in our own processes.
Some core climate justice principles:
Prevent catastrophic climatic destabilisation.
Confront the structural/root causes of emissions.
Reject false market-orientated solutions.
Promote socially just and ecologically sound alternatives defined by those who will be affected
Democratic ownership and control of economy.
Resource sovereignty (energy, food, water, land etc.)
Leave fossil fuels in the ground.
Reparations of ecological debt to those who have suffered from resource exploitation.
Protect and defend untouched eco-systems from commercial operations.