‘Climate justice is an absolute must for effective climate adaptations, globally and within nations’

News: There is an ongoing debate on climate justice, subsistence emissions, etc. which are vital and inevitable for effective climate change adaptations.

Why is climate change taking place?

Climate change happens largely due to the emissions of carbon dioxide, which lasts over 150 to 170 years in the atmosphere.

Therefore, the greenhouse gases which were emitted a century and a half ago still exist in Earth’s atmosphere today and are forcing changes in temperatures.

What is ‘climate justice’?

Many countries have a natural debt of historical emissions. They burnt fossil fuels to spur their economic growth in the past.

The UNFCCC acknowledged the same and embraced the principle of climate justice. For example, the rich nations would reduce emissions while the poor could develop with access to money and technology for clean growth.

At present, it can be defined by a framework for climate justice developed by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The framework argues for per capita emissions entitlements for attaining climate justice.

Is the idea of climate justice too relevant within nations?

The principle of climate justice also applies within a country. For example, there are well-off people or rich classes of people who overuse their own share of the ecological space. Therefore, the poor do not get their due share of ecological space.

What are the issues at present?

Even today, several countries scramble for more fossil fuels. It is evident in the Ukraine Crisis. In fact, the developing countries will also emit and add to greenhouse gas emissions for their development.

The rich world has mostly undermined the principles of climate justice. For example, the Paris pact 2015 has shed the term ‘historical emissions’ and dropped the responsibility of the developed world to take on emission reductions.

The world doesn’t have a global agreement based on fair climate shares in the world. This is in fact not talked about in an intra-country context.

Climate justice has been the most divisive issue in the global environmental community. The issue has not been highlighted in the Western media, despite their huge reporting of the climate crisis. In fact, 70% of the world also needs to grow.

Way Forward

The world should move forward based on each person’s fair share of atmospheric space. Climate Justice should be classed with human rights.

Climate justice should be made a bedrock of climate action. We can’t have effective agreements, accompanied by financial transfers, technology sharing, and measures to enable countries to grow economically without pollution.

The acknowledgment of climate justice is essential for climate adaptation and making international agreements truly effective.

We all need to live within our fair share of nature. The world should shift from luxury emissions to subsistence emissions.

Source: The post is based on an article “Climate justice is an absolute must for effective climate adaptations, globally and within nations’” published in The Times of India on 14th May 2022.

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