Climate Justice

There is no climate justice without racial justice.

This page was developed in partnership with Second Nature's member institutions to help accelerate the work of racial and climate justice in, and through, higher education.

“Climate justice links human rights and development to achieve a human-centered approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its resolution equitably and fairly. Climate justice is informed by science, responds to science and acknowledges the need for equitable stewardship of the world’s resources.”

Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice: Principles of Climate Justice

Header Photo Credit: Markus Spiske on Unsplash


Higher Education’s Role in Advancing Climate Justice was developed with Second Nature’s Climate Justice Working Group. The purpose of this working paper is to help colleges and universities center principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and justice (DEIAJ) into their climate action plans. Including climate justice principles at scale across over 400 member institutions will ultimately serve to both leverage and strengthen the higher education sector’s strengths to cultivate campus-community relationships and cross-sector partnerships. 

cover of Higher Education’s Role in Advancing Climate Justice
Higher Education’s Role in Advancing Climate Justice
Download and share this working paper about Higher Education’s Role in Advancing Climate Justice, including best practices and case studies for integrating DEIAJ principles into climate action planning.
Access Working Paper Here

Background & Terminology

A brief overview of the history of racism in higher education and key terms to ground our work toward racial and climate justice

Driving Concepts

Themes addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability, including the structural inequalities that constrain population access to resources, as a prerequisite for achieving justice and resilience in climate action planning

Higher Education’s Role

Best practices for integrating DEIAJ principles into climate action planning, while ensuring inextricably linked campus-community and cross-sector activity is an essential part of these plans

Practical Recommendations

Foundational examples of how climate justice is currently conceived and being integrated into strategic plans and on-the-ground activities

Additional Resources

Multimedia resources about climate justice and DEIAJ topics

Collaborative Design

Learn about the Climate Justice Working Group and opportunities to contribute to the working paper

Key Challenges & Opportunities

Key challenges and opportunities for pursuing climate justice as identified by members of the Climate Leadership Network and the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3)

Climate Justice Working Group

Background and purpose of the Climate Justice Working Group, as well as how to join

Pursuit Sessions & Webinars

Climate justice and DEIAJ-focused sessions from Second Nature's Climate Action Pursuit and webinars hosted with external partners

Case Studies

Case studies from colleges, universities, and cities that incorporated diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIAJ) principles into their climate action planning processes and plans

Reflection & Resource Page: Indigenous Communities

We are learning, growing, and committed to moving on land acknowledgments