New Internationalist

Four principles for climate justice

Issue 419

Climate change, caused by human activities, is threatening the lives and livelihoods of billions of people and the existence of millions of species. We need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, while at the same time raising the quality of life for the majority of the world’s people.

1 RICH TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

The burden of adjustment to the climate crisis must be borne by those who created it. This means:

  • A 90 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from industrialized countries by 2050.
  • An end to over-production for over-consumption, and a dramatic reduction in wasteful consumption by Northern and Southern élites.
  • Financial support from the North to the South to help with the cost of adjusting to the effects of climate change and continuing to develop along sustainable lines. This transfer of wealth should be based on the principle that the rich world owes the poor world an 'ecological debt', and it must be subject to democratic control.

2 LEAVE FOSSIL FUELS IN THE GROUND

Climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels. We need to stop it at source. Leave the coal in the hole, the oil in the soil. Invest instead in energy efficiency and a massive expansion of community-controlled renewable energy.

3 FAIR AND EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS

Climate solutions should actually work, and not create further problems. This means:

  • Ending the aggressive promotion of false solutions such as carbon trading, agro-fuels and geo-engineering. These allow the rich to avoid their responsibility to make major changes; help corporations to increase their profits; and have negative knock-on effects on the world's poor and the planet's ecosystem. And they don't prevent further climate change.
  • Planning and executing a just transition to a low-carbon society that protects people’s rights, jobs and well-being.

4 EQUAL ACCESS TO RESOURCES

Natural resources must be conserved for the common good, not privatized and unsustainably exploited. People’s sovereignty over land, energy, forests and water must be upheld and reclaimed.

This first appeared in our award-winning magazine - to read more, subscribe from just £7

Comments on Four principles for climate justice

Leave your comment







 

  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

This article was originally published in issue 419

New Internationalist Magazine issue 419
Issue 419

More articles from this issue

  • Fall-out in Kazakhstan

    January 1, 2009

    Fall-out from nuclear tet zone still killing Kazakhs.

  • Hugo's Bank

    January 1, 2009

    Latin American Bank held up by its members.

  • Climate Justice - The Facts

    January 1, 2009

    Climate change is causing human suffering all over the world and it's the poorest of the poor who are going to be worst hit.

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.

Subscribe