One aspect of climate change is overlooked by politicians, commentators, and big NGOs alike: equity.

The suffering that climate change will bring is going to be visited primarily on the globe’s most vulnerable populations — the very people who have done the least to cause the problem. Any response to climate change that hopes to gain international legitimacy must take equity as a central organizing principle.

As I see it, climate equity involves two central issues. First, how the vulnerable and innocent can be protected from the ravages of climate change; second, how those most responsible for climate change can be assigned commensurate responsibility for solving the problem.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

I want to do what I can to help move the issue of climate equity into the mainstream conversation. To that end, I’ve contacted several people who are active thinking, writing, and advocating around the issue. I’ve asked them each to send me answers to the following three questions:

  1. What would climate equity look like? What’s the end state we’re aiming for?
  2. What are the policy steps that start us down the road?
  3. What’s needed, politically speaking, to marshal support for those policy steps?

I’ll be publishing their answers over the coming weeks.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

If you know of people doing good work in the area, let me know and I’ll contact them — the more voices involved in this conversation the better.