The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change corroborated what had already been said in previous reports, but with more precise and more robust data: that the process of global warming is affecting both land and ocean, and that the scale of the recent changes is unprecedented in the history of the planet. In recent years it has also been recognized that the impacts of climate change on human populations are determined, or strongly influenced, by pre-existing social inequities that produce, as Arana Zegarra notes, “more vulnerable populations, with differentiated risks created by social, economic, cultural, ethnic and gender marginalization”.
This article first appeared in the analysis and debate series published by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Andean Regional Office.
In this sense, gender-differentiated impacts of climate change are now recognized, as are the gender-differentiated contributions to climate change, that is, the differentiated contribution of women and men to greenhouse gas emissions.
The central proposal of Climate Justice from the Perspective of Latin American and Other Southern Feminisms is that having emerged within the dominant notion of climate change, the prevailing gender approach is concerned with how climate change will affect societies’ ability to develop, adapt, and mitigate. That is, by highlighting gender inequalities, its goal is to propose pragmatic solutions as components of the strategies set out by global climate change governance, while ignoring the underlying structures that simultaneously produce climate change and gender inequalities.
In contrast, we note the emergence over the last few decades of multiple feminist trends in Latin America, which along with feminisms from other geopolitical and geo-epistemic southern regions, offer more comprehensive criticisms, based on intersecting perspectives, with regard to the causes of the global environmental crisis, while also developing multiple strategies of struggle to combat them.
The feminist critical approach we present in this document is a result of questioning a climate change management that overlooks the systemic and civilizational crisis caused by the modern colonial patriarchal capitalist system, of which climate change is a symptom. In addition, our critical approach brings together the knowledge and conceptualizations of the feminist praxis of Latin American and other southern regions in the hope these will nurture debate about integrating a gender approach into climate change action.