On climate justice, funders could do better

Andrew Milner

Philanthropy is falling short when it comes to supporting the climate justice movement that is rapidly growing across the globe

Despite what he terms ‘amnesia and individualism’, Nathan Thanki of Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice sees a growing awareness of a self-conscious climate movement in Europe: ‘Although still frequently thinking and acting in a silo, systems-thinking is increasing. Although it still tends towards euro-centrism and tokenism it at least exhibits a desire to act in solidarity with southern movements.’

In Brazil, the climate justice movement is in its infancy, says Alice Amorim of Instituto Clima e Sociedade. For one thing, it has been assumed up to now that the role of the climate movement was to be a sort of informal repository of knowledge for a state working towards the same end. This has changed with the Bolsonaro regime. Second, high levels of poverty in Brazil meant that many assumed ‘that social and economic justice would have precedence over climate justice’. Finally, no-one is sure how current legislation can be used to pursue climate justice. Amorim notes a change, however, with the increasing recognition of inequality and the realisation that climate injustice contributes to it. She sees the movement ‘being led by young organisations, mostly under the leadership of women, with a strong social connection and desire to combat the status quo in which climate change is an important but not the only issue to be addressed’.

Kevin Buckland of Artivist Network also notes that the climate justice movement in Spain is just getting going. While he thinks it is ‘a decade behind other parts of the [climate] movement’ that brings at least one advantage: learning from their mistakes. ‘We’ve been able to skip the individualist-recycling phase and jump straight into structural critique… and to build decolonial and anti-racist organising practices into our work from the very beginning,’ he says.

Next Special feature to read

The quality of the relationship

Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan