In the coming weeks young people in 18 Youth Work Ireland Member Youth Services will participate in an exciting new Climate Justice programme. The Our Fair Planet: Youth Actions for Climate Justice has been developed as part of the Department of Children and Youth Affair’s Youth Climate Justice Fund and aims at educating and empowering young people around the issues of Climate Justice, Sustainable Development, Just Transitions, Human Rights and Equality.
The challenge of climate change is a decisive one for the world and it is young people who have been at the fore in the fight for climate action. In reframing the term ‘Climate Action / Change’ to that of ‘Climate Justice’ we can view the effects of climate change from a human rights and political perspective rather than purely an environment issue. Changing the lens in which we look at climate change allows us to focus on how deeply inequitable it is for those who have contributed the least to carbon emissions, to suffer the most. Another challenge associated with climate policies is how to support local communities whose livelihood relies on climate-damaging industries such as fossil fuel extraction or certain types of farming – including in developed countries such as Ireland. The concept of Just Transitions looks at how to help these communities move into new areas of industry or business to support themselves so that they aren’t left behind as we move forward into more sustainable ways of living.
The programme will be run over a number of weeks, culminating in each youth group devising and carrying out their own youth action to spread awareness of climate justice, as irrespective of where you live in Ireland or the world, climate justice is an issue for us all, and we need to come together to safeguard the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalised people by sharing the burdens, benefits and opportunities that will arise.