Climate justice beyond intergenerational conflict: Do we fully understand youth climate activism and their claims for climate justice?  


“Climate justice” is an umbrella term that encompasses ethical principles for problems relating to inequalities caused by climate change (Shue 2014; Gardiner and Weisbach 2016; Gardiner 2017). For all its various definitions, the common denominator is disparities between responsibility for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the damage caused by global warming (Dietz and Garrelts 2014). The disparities are made manifest when seen through various lenses such as intergenerational inequality, historical responsibility, and critical climate justice. 

Intergenerational justice was the initial ethical idea that gave rise to the paradigm of climate justice (Taylor 2000; Shue 2014). The well-known Brundtland report, “Our Common Future”, catalyzed the institutionalization of the concept by defning sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland 1987).  

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