Why We Need Feminist Climate Justice
Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2023
‘Feminist Communities for Climate Justice’ - a joint project between the National Women’s Council and Community Work Ireland - examines, reflects and responds to the voices and lived experiences of women and marginalised communities in the face of climate injustice through a feminist and community work lens.
Climate breakdown is not gender neutral. Women and marginalised communities, in Ireland and globally, are more impacted and more likely to be impacted by climate breakdown, with limited options or means of protection due to systemic inequalities and discrimination. Globally, women and children are 14 times more likely to die in climate disaster than men but have the least responsibility for the climate devastation. They are the shock-absorbers of climate breakdown.
Capitalism and extractive practices transfer wealth out of local communities to fossil fuel corporates. And we need a commitment to the phase out of fossil fuels and a fair transition that benefits all, not the few, ensuring no one is left behind.
We need total system change. We need to change how we think about and plan our economies.
Care work is key to how women experience life and how they experience climate crisis. And we need care work, paid and unpaid, to be valued as inherently green work and key to the just transition. Typically jobs in health and care produce 26 times less greenhouse gas than manufacturing jobs, and over 200 times less than agricultural jobs. Distributing care work equally amongst men and women and investing in and valuing care work will help us meet our climate goals and address inequality.
It is critical that women and marginalised communities are included and active agents in their own Just Transition. We need the establishment of the Just Transition Commission in Ireland to be prioritised.
The intersection of inequality and climate breakdown is not being addressed. Women and marginalised groups are not included meaningfully in the planning and implementation of climate policies. And there is no policy area or crisis that we are currently experiencing that does not have a link to climate breakdown. All policy is climate policy.
We need feminist climate justice now.
By Collette McEntee, Project Coordinator of 'Feminist Communities for Climate Justice'