Climate Justice for Whom? Understanding the Vernaculars of Climate Action and Justice in Marginal Environments of India

Volume 53 Number 4
Published: December 7, 2022

As calls for climate action gain momentum, governments and international organisations are committing to ambitious climate targets and scaling up their climate action. In this article, we argue that to address climate change, ‘just’ climate action is required which moves away from portraying local communities as ‘victims’ and/or ‘beneficiaries’ and focuses on investing in their social and material capabilities so that they determine their futures and pathways of change. Climate action will have little meaning or will produce counterproductive results unless it is mobilised to question deep-seated inequalities and unjust framings that feed into epistemic closures and foreclose possibilities of plural pathways towards radical social change. Drawing on our research with front-line communities in India, we emphasise the importance of processual aspects of addressing climate (in)justice. We underline why climate action must be steered from ‘below’ for transformative change, and why this requires attention to more ‘vernacular’ forms of action.

From Issue: Vol. 53 No. 4 (2022) | Reframing Climate and Environmental Justice