What is Climate Justice?
Climate justice is a political concept and social movement which recognizes that the climate crisis is a justice issue.
The climate crisis is deeply interconnected with many social justice and environmental justice concerns. Who caused the climate crisis? Who benefits the most from the industries and activities that are causing the climate crisis? Who is harmed first and worst by the effects of the climate crisis? Who has the power to decide how our communities and societies respond to the climate crisis?
All of these questions have justice implications. Reading a good book on the subject can help us understand, talk about, and act on climate justice.
This Climate Justice Reading List features books that will help you find the answers to these and many other questions related to the climate crisis and climate justice. If you feel passionate about climate justice, you can learn more and find by checking out our Climate Justice Groups page.
Book Inclusion Criteria
Do you know of a book that should be on this list? Let us know!
Books About Climate Justice
“As advocate for the forgotten and the ignored, Mary Robinson has not only shone a light on human suffering, but illuminated a better future for our world.” -Barack Obama
“The antidote for your climate change paralysis.” –Sierra“Insightful and optimistic.” –The Guardian
Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson’s mission to bring together the fight against climate change and the global struggle for human rights has taken her all over the world. It also brought her to a heartening revelation: that that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself. Robinson met with ordinary people whose resilience and ingenuity had already unlocked extraordinary change: from a Mississippi matriarch whose campaign began in her East Biloxi hair salon and culminated in her speaking at the United Nations, to a farmer who transformed the fortunes of her ailing community in rural Uganda.In Climate Justice, she shares their stories, and many more. Powerful and deeply humane, this uplifting book is a stirring manifesto on one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time, and a lucid, affirmative, and well-argued case for hope.
The call for Climate Justice promises a renewed grassroots response to the climate crisis. This emerging movement is rooted in land-based and urban communities around the world that have experienced the most severe impacts of global climate changes. Climate Justice highlights the social justice and human rights dimensions of the crisis, using creative direct action to press for real, systemic changes.
Toward Climate Justice explains the case for Climate Justice, challenges the myths underlying carbon markets and other false solutions, and looks behind the events that have obstructed the advance of climate policies at the UN and in the US Congress. This fully revised edition includes numerous updates on current climate science and politics worldwide.
Drawing on more than three decades of political engagement with energy and climate issues, author Brian Tokar shows how the perspective of social ecology can point the way toward an ecological reconstruction of society.
Climate Justice and Community Renewal: Resistance and Grassroots Solutions edited by Brian Tokar and Tamra Gilbertson
This book brings together the voices of people from five continents who live, work, and research on the front lines of climate resistance and renewal.
The many contributors to this volume explore the impacts of extreme weather events in Africa, the Caribbean and on Pacific islands, experiences of life-long defenders of the land and forests in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and eastern Canada, and efforts to halt the expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure from North America to South Africa. They offer various perspectives on how a just transition toward a fossil-free economy can take shape, as they share efforts to protect water resources, better feed their communities, and implement new approaches to urban policy and energy democracy.
Climate Justice and Community Renewal uniquely highlights the accounts of people who are directly engaged in local climate struggles and community renewal efforts, including on-the-ground land defenders, community organizers, leaders of international campaigns, agroecologists, activist-scholars, and many others. It will appeal to students, researchers, activists, and all who appreciate the need for a truly justice-centered response to escalating climate disruptions.
Burnt: Fighting for Climate Justice by Chris Saltmarsh
‘An inspiring rallying cry for activists everywhere to work together to build a just, ecosocialist future’ – Grace Blakeley
Time is up. The climate crisis is no longer a future to be feared, but a devastating reality. We see it in the wildfires in California and floods across Britain – the ‘once in a generation’ extreme weather events that now happen every year.
In a world where those in charge are constantly letting us down, real change in our lifetime means taking power into our own hands. The task ahead of us is daunting, but the emergence of a new wave of movements focused on climate justice, equality and solidarity also brings hope.
Asking how we have arrived at this moment, Chris Saltmarsh argues that the profoundly political nature of the environmental crisis has been relentlessly downplayed. After all, how can solar panels save us while capitalism places profit over the future of the planet? Analyzing the failures of NGOs, the limitations of Extinction Rebellion and Youth Strikes, the role of trade unions, and the possibilities of a Green New Deal, Burnt issues a powerful call for a radical collective movement: saving the world is not enough; we must build a better one in the process.
What Climate Justice Means and Why We Should Care by Elizabeth Cripps
We owe it to our fellow humans – and other species – to save them from the catastrophic harm caused by climate change.
Philosopher Elizabeth Cripps approaches climate justice not just as an abstract idea but as something that should motivate us all. Using clear reasoning and poignant examples, starting from irrefutable science and uncontroversial moral rules, she explores our obligations to each other and to the non-human world, unravels the legacy of colonialism and entrenched racism, and makes the case for immediate action.The second half of the book looks at solutions. Who should pay the bill for climate action? Who must have a say? How can we hold multinational companies, organisations – even nations – to account? Cripps argues powerfully that climate justice goes beyond political polarization. Climate activism is a moral duty, not a political choice.