Gender and Indigenous Climate Justice at the United Nations

By Wing Ka Ho
June 11, 2022

Climate justice refers to the protection and achievement of individual rights in relation to climate change and can be exercised on various levels (individual, regional, and global) and communities including gender, race, and social status. However, the development and realisation of climate justice have been a slow and arduous process, especially for women and Indigenous people.

Women have fewer chances of participating in climate change actions or in the negotiating platforms as reflected by the low proportion of women in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), therefore, achieving gender equality has been a crucial aspect of the performance of climate justice. Another group that is just as vulnerable to climate justice: the Indigenous peoples. According to the World Bank, there are an estimated 476 million Indigenous Peoples worldwide yet there are no official groups or representations for them on the international negotiation platform. The most well-known Indigenous groups are the Saami in the Arctic and those who are based in the Amazon rainforest. These groups are usually ruled by powers such as Canada and the United States, preventing Indigenous representation, particularly in regards to climate action. The understanding and achievement of Indigenous climate justice are just as important to demonstrate equality among races.

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