Global Spotlight Report #48: Climate Justice


In Post 48 Climate Scorecard Country Managers identified the leading climate justice issues facing their countries. Who is affected and why? What makes them vulnerable to the impact of climate change? What types of policies and programs have countries put in place to address the needs of at-risk populations? Have these policies been effective?

The following Table highlights the issues reported for the countries that we monitor. Links to full Country Reports follow.

Country Communities At Risk
  • Residents living near coal-fired power plants in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territories and Tasmania
  • Those at-risk for floods in the Amazon Region and droughts in the Northeast Region
  • Food insecure households, racially segregated communities, communities with high income disparities
  • At-risk agricultural communities communities dependent on ecological health of water bodies
European Union
  • Polluted environments affecting racial communities (Black, Asian, and Roma pop)
  • Rising sea levels affecting coastal communities; floods in Western Germany
  • Indigenous people in northeast and central tribal belt
  • Women and children
  • People living near Sea of Japan and Okinawa
  • 7 out of every 10 people; 160 municipalities; people living near mineral mines
  • People living near Niger Delta; the Ogoni; rural farmers
  • Those living in the North and the Russian Arctic
Saudi Arabia
  • Farmers, fishermen, low income urban dwellers
South Africa
  • People in Limpopo Province, Western Cape, and those affected by heatwaves in cities
  • Those affected by rising energy prices, and decline in living standards
  • People with low income or no-income (including migrants and migrating groups, i.e., Romani) and homeless people; women and LGBTQI+; people with disabilities; elderly people and children; and people working outdoors
United Kingdom
  • Black, Asian and minority communities in London; disadvantaged Coastal communities; elderly communities affected by extreme weather
United States
  • Migrants, migrating groups, homeless people, women & LGBTQ+, children & Elderly

Country Reports

Climate Justice in Australia

HIGHLIGHTS Communities living near coal-fired power plants in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Tasmania NARRATIVE Coal combustion produces hazardous air pollutants which include sulphur dioxide, mercury, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and arsenic. As per Environmental Justice Australia’s analysis report, Australia’s coal mines have increased PM10 particles by 61% in…

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Climate Justice in Brazil

HIGHLIGHTS Floods in the Amazonian Region Droughts in the Northeastern Region   NARRATIVE In Brazil, climate consequences do not affect people the same way. The Indigenous, Black, and poor populations within the country are the most vulnerable and affected by climate events.Floods in the Amazonian region One ongoing climate injustice issue in the country is…

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Climate Justice in Canada

HIGHLIGHTS The 1 in 8 households that are food insecure are especially vulnerable to the impact of climate change Indigenous and Black communities are especially vulnerable Racially segregated communities and communities with high income disparities are especially vulnerable Pollution related human rights issues are associated with climate justice for vulnerable communities, e.g., leachate leaks, waste…

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Climate Justice in China

HIGHLIGHTS Climate change hits urban and rural areas equally “Climate poverty” affects at-risk agricultural communities and communities dependent on the ecological health of their water bodies Groups of affected people are highly diverse and can be found in all parts of China Minority ethnic groups, such as Tibetan and Uighurs, also have access to the…

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Climate Justice in Germany

HIGHLIGHTS Exposure of Coastal Regions to Rising Sea Levels Floods Affecting At-Risk Populations in Western Germany The Need to Pay Better Attention to the Climate Views of Youth   NARRATIVE Climate change is one of the greatest ethical and political challenges of our time. The impacts of a dramatically warming climate threaten the livelihood of…

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Climate Justice in the European Union

HIGHLIGHTS Polluted Environments Affecting Racial Communities (Black, Asian, and Roma populations)   NARRATIVE One notable climate justice issue that is prominent in the EU is racial equality. In the EU, one of the issues that racialized communities face is that they are often located in polluted environments that have a negative impact on their wellbeing….

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Climate Justice in India

HIGHLIGHTS Indigenous peoples in the north-east of India and the “central tribal belt”   NARRATIVE India is a large country with more than 705 ethnic groups called ‘Indigenous Peoples’ and many more ethnic groups yet not officially recognised. These frontline groups are generally marginalised and vulnerable men and women with poor socioeconomic status. The largest…

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Climate Justice in Indonesia

HIGHLIGHTS Women and children are among the highest risk groups Extreme weather and water scarcity impact poverty rates, nutritional status, loss of forest and biodiversity NARRATIVE The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continues to show that as the impacts of climate change accelerate, extreme weather events are taking a major toll in developing countries….

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Climate Justice in Japan

HIGHLIGHTS Climate Justice Is Not a Major Issue in Japan The Sea of Japan side and Okinawa are Two Regions in Japan That Are Most Vulnerable to Climate Change   NARRATIVE While the concept of Climate Justice is recent globally, in Japan it would appear almost non-existent and is nascent at best, and perhaps it…

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Climate Justice in Mexico

HIGHLIGHTS There are communities at-risk for climate change in each of Mexico’s 2,471 municipalities; 160 of these communities are considered most vulnerable 7 out of every 10 people are at-risk for the impact of climate change Mining firms (silver, mercury, and other minerals) inflict enormous environmental harm on at-risk populations   NARRATIVE Climate justice is…

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Climate Justice in Nigeria

HIGHLIGHTS Nigeria expected to have 9.4 million climate migrants by 2050 Actions of transnational companies, e.g., oil spills, gas flaring, on vulnerable local communities, e.g., the Ogoni Niger delta has been averaging 1,000 oil spills a year In 2020 floods affected more than 2 million people, primarily poor rural farmers   NARRATIVE Nigeria’s Lack of…

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Climate Justice in Russia

HIGHLIGHTS People of the Russian Arctic and the North   NARRATIVE Over the past few decades, the problem of global warming has become particularly relevant for people of the Russian Arctic and the North. The main issue is that the Arctic climate is changing faster than in other parts of the world. The victims of…

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Climate Justice in Saudi Arabia

HIGHLIGHTS Workers that rely on the natural environment for their living are most vulnerable (e.g., farmers and fishermen) Low-income urban dwellers living in areas susceptible to respiratory-related diseases   NARRATIVE There are many groups in Saudi Arabia that are becoming increasingly vulnerable to climate change as a direct result of the increasing likelihood of extreme…

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Climate Justice in South Africa

HIGHLIGHTS Food Insecurity in Limpopo Province Increased Coastal Flooding in Western Cape Province Increased Heatwaves in Urban Areas   NARRATIVE Food insecurity in the Limpopo province It is anticipated that nine out of ten most at-risk cities and towns in 2050 in South Africa will be in the Limpopo province [1]. Limpopo is one of…

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Climate Justice in Turkey

HIGHLIGHTS A drop in agricultural productivity and a rise in food prices Rising energy prices for those who can’t afford them Decline in welfare and living standards of low-income communities   NARRATIVE Climate change will affect different people and places unevenly and is likely to lead to inequalities within and across nations, and between current…

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Climate Justice in the United Kingdom

HIGHLIGHTS Air Pollution Affecting Black, Asian and Minority Communities in London Elderly Populations Affected by Extreme Weather Disadvantaged Coastal Communities Affected by Flooding   NARRATIVE Air Pollution Affecting BAME Communities in London Air pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. The high levels of toxic air, mainly in the southern…

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Climate Justice in Ukraine

HIGHLIGHTS Populations most vulnerable to climate change include: people with low income or no-income (including migrants and migrating groups, i.e., Romani) and homeless people; women and LGBTQI+; people with disabilities; elderly people and children; and people working outdoors. NARRATIVE Low income and no-income groups often live in remote areas of the country or the city…

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Climate Justice in the United States

HIGHLIGHTS Lack of access to disaster preparedness and relief programs Coastal relocation programs that can either exacerbate risk and create inequalities, or, when done well, reduce communities’ vulnerability Unequal Extreme Heat   NARRATIVE The United States has not traditionally been thought of as being on the frontlines of climate injustice globally, as countries including low-lying…

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