We are living in a major climate crisis. While countries in the global south have done the least to contribute to the issue. They risk to bear impacts of climate change. Countries in the global north have not only contributed to exacerbating the climate crisis, but due to the historical legacy of colonialism, have contributed to an extent to the lack of adaptive capacity for countries in the global south who are still battling with provisions of basic needs. These countries in the global South risk being shock absorbers for impacts of climate change in the future. Therefore, climate justice as an underpinning principle for climate action is important to ensure that the smallest contributors to the crisis do not pay the highest price.

Call for Climate Justice

The cartoon hinges on the a similar theme to the titanic ship that sank after it hit an iceberg. Rich passengers were transported off into small boats while poor passengers were left to sink in the ship. Similarly, the ship in this cartoon represents the world and the iceberg represents the issue of climate change. Climate change (iceberg) will cause world scale destruction that threatens our entire world (ship). The submerged part of the ship represents the Global South and how poor people from grassroots communities in the Global South will bear impacts of climate change. The part of the ship that is above water represents the Global North and all the multinational corporations in rich countries that are responsible for majority of emissions. While the whole ship sinks (I.e the whole world is affected by climate change), people in the global North are less vulnerable to impacts of climate change. They don’t sink with the ship as they have resources such as boats (I.e this represents historical advantage, strong financial institutions and more resources for developed countries) to protect themselves. While the global south suffers from impacts of climate change, countries in the global north have greater adaptive capacity and resilience to protect themselves. Therefore, in the cartoon, they are able to escape this disaster due advantage over the global South that they have. The message is that the global South contribute the least to climate change and yet they will suffer the most. Countries in the global north emit more but will have more capacity to protect themselves in the advent of climate induced disasters. The global south is suffering from a problem that is not if their own making. Therefore, climate justice must be an underpinning principle to combating climate change to ensure that poor communities in the global south do not become shock absorbers for impacts of climate change in the future


Sibusiso Mazomba


South Africa


South Africa


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