It is without a doubt that the current changes in the climate have been happening at an unusually rapid rate, one that wasn’t known before in Earth’s history. And it has been proven that anthropogenic actions are playing a big part in these changes.
It is also important to mention that the consequences we are facing have been increasingly more frequent, obvious, and alarming, which is why the whole issue of climate change and its consequences has started to be referred to as the “Climate Crisis”.
But one essential issue that isn’t taken as seriously as it should be, is the injustice faced by humankind, both regarding those contributing to the climate crisis and those being affected, as well as to what extent.
Injustice between different countries/ communities:
On one hand, it is the wealthier countries in the world that are the most responsible for anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This makes sense, because they produce and consume more, meaning they use more energy (and the energy sector, including transportation, electricity, manufacturing, etc., is the main contributor to these emissions worldwide).
In addition to that, the transition to renewable sources of energy is still on its way, at a rate quicker than previously expected, but slower than it should be to halter emissions as needed - and consequently global warming - before it’s too late.
On the other hand, not only are less economically developed countries the least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, but they are unfortunately the most affected, and that is, for the most part, due to their inability to cope with the more frequent natural disasters, higher temperatures, etc.
They are therefore facing harsh – sometimes even life-threatening – consequences, to the extent where they can be left without shelter, water, food, and/ or income, which are all issues low-resource communities already struggle with.
Moreover, indigenous peoples are also disproportionally affected by the climate crisis: they usually live in remote regions, in harmony with nature, using its resources in a way that doesn’t harm it.
But unfortunately, their strong connection to nature also makes them more vulnerable to any consequences of climate change: for example, they can no longer rely on their usual food sources with the variations in species as well as biodiversity loss, and find it hard to predict the weather as they used to in the past.
Injustice between generations:
Another injustice regarding the climate crisis is that current younger generations as well as future ones are and will keep facing the consequences of the actions of older generations, and it is only going to get worse in the future with the more intense effects of climate change.
In other terms, the quality of life (including available resources, climate, natural disasters, etc.) of young as well as coming generations is going to decrease, and they will have to adapt to whatever conditions come up.
On a bright note, younger generations are taking the climate crisis more seriously, since they are getting more educated on the issue, and also care about their future: they don’t want to be victims of climate change and unjustly bear the costs of others’ wrongdoings.
From climate strikes to educational campaigns, their advocacy plays an essential role in solving the climate crisis, as they are the “agents of change”: they are the ones that still have a chance to work on ensuring a hopeful future for the planet and humankind.