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Why climate justice is impossible without racial justice

Why climate justice is impossible without racial justice

The climate crisis is fueling inequality around the world and in particular racial injustice. For generations, inequality has exacerbated the impacts of the climate emergency for racial communities, and here is why:

Colonialism
“The excessive exploitation of natural resources would not have been possible without slavery, which allowed Western countries to accumulate significant wealth … This grabbing of wealth continued with colonisation, in Africa, South America, and Asia.

“The struggle for the environment and for peace requires racial, environmental, and climate justice, and a fundamental change in our relationship with others and with nature. Environmental destruction cannot be fought without fighting racism and the violence associated with it: they are two sides of the same coin.” — Greenpeace France

Colonisation involved the removal of people from their land, the destruction of this land and exploiting the local communities through unpaid labour.

But colonialism isn’t just something steeped in history, its systems of oppression are very much alive and well today. We see this with extractive industries, such as fossil fuels that are still causing destruction around the world – taking land, destroying it and causing harm to the people that live there.

Polluting marginalised communities
Quite often, polluting industries are located in areas where people of colour and marginalised communities reside. From rural to urban areas, people of colour continue to be disproportionately affected by these environmental impacts that can cause severe health issues and in some cases death.

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