U.N. IPCC Report: The Susceptibility of Our Warming World to Social Injustices

Since Sunday’s big reveal by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there have been a flurry of articles discussing the landmark determinations of the report and the confidence of the IPCC in their alarming predictions. The report proposes that climate warming has and will in the future be inadvertently responsible for global conflict, including those arising in developing nations over steadily high food prices, and could “prolong existing, and create new, poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger…”

Aditionally, the report states with high confidence that, “People who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally, or otherwise marginalized are especially vulnerable to climate change and also to some adaptation and mitigation responses (medium evidence, high agreement). This heightened vulnerability is rarely due to a single cause. Rather, it is the product of intersecting social processes that result in inequalities in socioeconomic status and income, as well as in exposure. Such social processes include, for example, discrimination on the basis of gender, class, ethnicity, age, and (dis)ability.”

Such determinations are frightening at best, and the accompanying report of projected emissions models is just as unnerving, illustrating the lengths to which we must go as a planet to even keep it habitable. For environmental justice, this report is revealing of the increasingly severe impacts of climate warming on disadvantaged communities, and the steps that will need to be taken in order to ensure that such communities around the globe are spared the ills of a planet driven by fossil fuels. Read the report and some accompanying articles below:


Washington Post article

The Guardian article