Volume 5, Issue 3 p. 359-374
Advanced Review

From environmental to climate justice: climate change and the discourse of environmental justice

David Schlosberg

Corresponding Author

David Schlosberg

Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Correspondence to: [email protected]Search for more papers by this author
Lisette B. Collins

Lisette B. Collins

Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Search for more papers by this author
First published: 22 February 2014
Citations: 435

Conflict of interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article.

Abstract

Environmental justice is a major movement and organizing discourse in the environmental politics arena, and both the movement and the idea have had a large influence on the way that climate justice has been conceptualized. While most discussions of climate justice in the academic literature focus on ideal conceptions and normative arguments of justice theory, or on the pragmatic policy of the more elite environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), a distinct discourse has developed out of the grassroots. In these movement articulations of climate justice, the concerns and principles of environmental justice are clear and consistent. Here, climate justice focuses on local impacts and experience, inequitable vulnerabilities, the importance of community voice, and demands for community sovereignty and functioning. This review traces the discourse of environmental justice from its development, through the range of principles and demands of grassroots climate justice movements, to more recent articulations of ideas for just adaptation to climate change.

This article is categorized under:

  • Climate, Nature, and Ethics > Climate Change and Global Justice
  • Social Status of Climate Change Knowledge > Climate Science and Social Movements