Next Steps for Climate Justice

May 15, 2020
DESCRIPTION: While interviewing a founder of the science-outreach initiative Skype a Scientist, longtime environmental journalist Andy Revkin, now at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, offered to video visits with students anywhere if time allowed.

That offer is still in effect, but the professor and students in an online course, Water and Sanitation Justice, taught throughout the University of California System, were the first to ask. This Q&A on climate activism and justice is the result.

They’ll be asking a range of questions, including these:

> How do you define climate justice?

> There have been a number of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some fit more in the political camp -- pushing legislation to curb carbon emissions on international, national, and local scales – and some are more market-based approaches – for example, setting up cap and trade systems for carbon emissions. Do you think that one of these approaches is more effective than the other? Why?

> What was significant about the Paris Agreement? What has happened since the Paris Agreement?

> How has climate activism evolved since the Paris Agreement in 2015? Why?

> Who are the major climate activists (people, organizations, or groups) in the world today? What are their efforts?

> What are the different approaches used by these activists? How does social and digital media play a role in these approaches?

> Are these groups able to successfully influence political or market approaches related to emission reductions? Why or why not?

> How can young people/students make a difference in the coming years?