Racial Capitalism, Climate Justice, and Climate Displacement
Oñati Socio-Legal Series, symposium on Climate Justice in the Anthropocene, volume 11(1), pp. 108-147 (2021)
40 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2020 Last revised: 5 Feb 2021
Date Written: January 14, 2020
This article expands our understanding of climate justice by demonstrating how racial subordination, environmental degradation, and the fossil fuel-based capitalist world economy are interrelated. It uses these insights to critique the emerging legal and policy responses to climate change-induced displacement and to examine alternative approaches emerging from climate-vulnerable states and peoples. The article argues that racialized communities all over the world have borne the brunt of carbon capitalism from cradle (extraction of fossil fuels) to grave (climate change) and that a race-conscious analysis of climate change and climate displacement can reveal the commonalities among seemingly distinct forms of oppression in order to forge the alliances necessary to achieve just and emancipatory outcomes.
Keywords: racial capitalism, climate change, climate refugees, climate displacement, carbon capitalism, racism, colonialism, coloniality, abyssal exclusion
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