There is overwhelming consensus about the science of climate change. Climate politics, however, remains volatile, driven by perceptions of injustice, which motivate policy resistance and undermine policy legitimacy. We identify three types of injustice. The first pertains to the uneven exposure to climate change impacts across countries and communities within a country. Socially, politically, and economically disadvantaged communities that have contributed the least to the climate crisis tend to be affected the most. To address climate change and its impacts, countries and subnational units have enacted a range of policies. But even carefully designed mitigation and adaptation policies distribute costs (the second justice dimension) and benefits (the third justice dimension) unevenly across sectors and communities, often reproducing existing inequalities. Climate justice requires paying careful attention to who bears the costs and who gets the benefits of both climate inaction and action.
Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Political Science, Volume 25 is May 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.