This paper explores the links between climate change and justice. It establishes why climate change is an issue of justice, analyzes the potential role of justice in the agreement currently being negotiated for 2015, and explores climate justice narratives. This paper is written for climate negotiators, academic institutions and civil society organizations following the negotiations, and anyone interested in the justice aspects of climate policy.

Executive Summary

This paper explores the role of equity in the climate negotiations. It establishes why climate change is an issue of injustice by examining the environmental challenges posed by climate change and links those challenges to socio-ecological and economic systems that undermine the rights of people, especially the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable.

The paper then analyzes the role of justice and equity in designing a new climate agreement by looking at how equity has been treated to now in the climate negotiations. It examines several perspectives on key equity issues to highlight those issues that must be addressed in the new agreement.

The paper concludes by exploring the potential of climate justice narratives in mobilizing domestic constituencies of demand for climate action. The authors suggest a variety of constituencies that can use climate justice narratives and how similar narratives have been used in other social movements.

This paper is the first publication of the Climate Justice Dialogue, an initiative led by the Mary Robinson Foundation — Climate Justice and the World Resources Institute. The initiative seeks to develop creative thinking and mobilize demand for a people-centered climate agreement in 2015.