Why should you take action?

The IPCC projects a rise in temperature of 4°C by the end of the century unless there are drastic changes in the way we consume and produce energy.

IPCC, Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, Summary for Policymakers (13 April 2014) 8: (‘Baseline scenarios, those without additional mitigation, result in global mean surface temperature increases in 2100 from 3.7°C to 4.8°C compared to pre-industrial levels.’); Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided, World Bank Report (November 2012) ix.

What is climate justice?

“Climate change is an issue of environmental and social justice. It is an issue that affects everybody but the impacts are not evenly distributed. Too often it’s the people who have contributed the least to the causes of climate change that are facing the most severe impacts.

Low ­income people, communities of colour, women, youth and in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia are on the frontlines of this crisis. It’s our communities that are hit first and worst, not only by the impacts of climate change but the impacts of extractive, polluting and wasteful industries that are devastating our country and fuelling the climate crisis.” – Seed Mob, Australia’s first Indigenous youth-led climate movement. 

“…[t]he most equitable conception of climate change must recognise that while the developed nations have contributed the most to climate change over the past two centuries, it is the developing nations and their peoples who stand to suffer the most extreme consequences of rising sea levels, rising temperatures, and other human-induced environmental shifts. For example, from 1970 to 2008, over 95 per cent of deaths due to natural disasters took place in the developing world. Rich nations are ‘in a better position to store food against the possibility of drought, to move people away from flooded areas, to fight the spread of disease-carrying insects, and to build seawalls to keep out the rising seas.’ Poor countries do not have such advantages, and their populations are vulnerable due to lack of resources, poverty, marginalisation and exclusion, as well as their place in the direct line of fire of climate change’s most pernicious effects. It is therefore imperative that a justice-centred approach be adopted in our efforts to combat climate change.” International Bar Association Climate Change Justice and Human Rights Task Force Report, Achieving Justice and Human Rights in an Era of Climate Disruption

What can you do?

Use your professional skills:

The Guide aims to inform and inspire lawyers across the globe. It includes:

  • descriptions of 15 different ways that lawyers can get involved in pro bono work to help combat the climate crisis
  • a range of compelling case studies from around the world, and
  • advice on how to get started.

Use your funds:

Use your voice…