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Climate justice

In 2018, Law, Environment, and Justice in the Anthropocene (JUMA) began its research on the topic of climate justice during the Anthropocene.

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The Anthropocene, the current epoch in Earth’s history, is the era during which the magnitude and gravity of climate change has become clear. Humanity’s capacity to interfere with the environment creates geological consequences on the basic functioning of all of Earth’s biological systems. A new examination of humanity’s role in promoting climate justice is necessary in response to the intensification and globalization of climate risks. It is no longer enough to only analyze the global distribution of environmental benefits; instead, understanding the distribution of socio-environmental burdens must be the guiding element in the construction of normative horizons compatible with the challenges and demands of a metamorphosing world. Climate risks are global, indivisible, catastrophic, and unequally distributed between countries and social groups. When this is coupled with the unpredictability and indeterminacy of possible futures for a world at risk, one is forced to recognize that preexisting normative structures are incompatible with demands for sufficient and efficient accountability and promotion of climate justice. 

Facing global environmental changes, amongst which climate change stands out, depends on the ability of the Law to provide efficient and compatible responses to the uncertainties and complexities of a world that is already witnessing dramatic changes. The promotion of climate justice necessarily involves the recognition that the socio-environmental burdens related to climate change have been neglected and externalized to the community and, more frequently and intensely, to vulnerable social groups, while its benefits have concentrated in the hands of those who produce these same risks. The inequities of a scenario in which private costs are repeatedly and naturally converted into socio-environmental costs requires a careful reformulation of regulatory frameworks aimed at solving global climate problems.

Status: In progress.

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