Principles of Climate Justice

Climate justice links human rights and development to achieve a human-centred approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable people and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its impacts equitably and fairly. Climate justice is informed by science, responds to science and acknowledges the need for equitable stewardship of the world’s resources.

Guided by core principles the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice dedicates itself to action in order to realise its vision of a world engaged in the advancing of climate justice.

The draft principles were developed and discussed by the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice based on the common understanding of key principles, concepts and opportunities identified at a meeting of a small group of people from all parts of the world who have been working on climate justice issues. The meeting was supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation in Pocantico in July 2011.

These principles are rooted in the frameworks of international and regional human rights law and do not require the breaking of any new ground on the part of those who ought, in the name of climate justice, to be willing to take them on.

The following Principles of Climate Justice have been adopted by the Board and are operative in the Foundation’s activities.

Respect and Protect Human Rights


Support the Right to Development


Share Benefits and Burdens Equitably


Ensure that Decisions on Climate Change are Participatory, Transparent and Accountable

Highlight Gender Equality and Equity

Harness the Transformative Power of Education for Climate Stewardship

Use Effective Partnerships to Secure Climate Justice

Download the Principles of Climate Justice as pdf document.