From Global Justice to Climate Justice? Justice Ecologism in an Era of Global Warming

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Journal Article
New Political Science, 2009, 31 (4), pp. 499 - 514
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Justice globalism, as an ideological field, emerged to prominence from 2001 with the World Social Forum. It has offered powerful responses to market globalism, grounding alternatives as well as refusals. With the intensification of global warming, the question of climate justice is increasingly subsuming issues of global justice. Climate justice offers a distinct trajectory, with its own dilemmas and potentials. The article addresses these differences along six axes: scope, discourse, space, strategy, temporality, and agency. It is argued that climate justice is a totalising concern, that is scientifically measurable, that creates new leverage for late industrialisers, requires a proactive strategy, within a limited temporal horizon, embedded within an all-encompassing and radically challenging epistemology. As such climate justice addresses some of the limitations of global justice, while creating problems of its own. It is argued that emerging dynamics of climate justice are pre-figuring paradigmatic transition, forcing broad-scale transformations in the terms of political contestation.
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