Climate change isn’t fair

“In the face of the existential threat of climate change, the task of protecting future generations must start with ensuring fairness and equality in the current one,” writes Mary Robinson for the

“We are living through deeply troubling times – anxious about security, subjected to the shallow appeal of populism around the world and shifting towards increasingly myopic national policymaking in many countries. But for every regressive policy, for every small-minded comment demonising “the other”, we are witnessing communities coming together to deliver a different message.”

“Millions have taken to the streets to call for an end to the use of fossil fuels, respect of human rights and intergenerational equity. Around the world, university students are leading the charge calling for divestment from fossil fuels and investment in renewable energy services. People are becoming increasingly aware of their role as global citizens and the need to protect the global commons. We can see all around us an indomitable spirit of empathy and compassion that will not be cowed by cynicism or fear mongering. In this spirit, I recognise the emergence of a new wave of guardians for future generations.”

“We are custodians of our planet, a global commons that, by 2050, will be home to some 9 billion people. It is our duty to live in such a way that the precious, life sustaining environment which keeps us is passed to future generations in at least as healthy a state as we received it from those before us.”

The Foundation’s Principle of Climate Justice “Support the right to development” emphasises the interdependence of all people and the earth and the need for a development first approach to climate action particularly in developing countries. This interdependence applies not only within generations but also between generations. Balancing the needs of people living in poverty now with the needs of future generations is critical for climate justice and sustainable development. So in its simplest form international equity can be understood as fairness between generations.

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Climate change isn’t fair – Mary Robinson Guardian op-ed