On Sunday, the eve of the UN climate conference in Paris, we marched from Hyde Park to Westminster along with 50,000 others. Our banner read: ‘People of colour feel the heat – no justice no peace.’
We marched because the devastating effects of climate change disproportionately affect people of colour, and yet race is conspicuously missing from the public and political discourse. Our experiences on the day, and the articles, images and statements that have emerged following the march, have alerted us to the necessity of thinking about social justice issues that are directly and indirectly born out of climate change and environmental destruction. This has encouraged us to continue asking questions about the intersection between climate change and race, an intersection that all too often falls between the cracks in conversations about climate justice.
For us, this photo essay is the start of a much deeper conversation we intend to facilitate about people of colour and climate justice. We want to ask questions about the notion of development versus sustainability, why the environmental movement is seemingly still so white, the different experiences of climate injustice in countries of the global north and south, the cost of capitalism, the role of colonialism and white supremacy in the implementation of climate policy, the role of #BlackLivesMatter in the climate debate, the notion of disaster capitalism, and the different value we assign to different human lives.