Race, Racism and Climate Reparations
in the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change

WHEREAS, Race and racism render Afro-Descendant populations across the globe systematically more at-risk of impacts from both the drivers and impacts of climate change;

WHEREAS, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report listed colonialism not only as a driver of the climate crisis but also as an ongoing dynamic that exacerbates communities’ risk of climate change impacts;

WHEREAS, The World Conference Against Racism calls for investments in safe and healthy environments, citing the disproportionate exposure to unhealthy environments due to racism against Afro-Descendant persons;

WHEREAS, Due to the practice of multinational and interconnected systemic nature of white supremacy, which produces the extractive global economy, as well as past, present and future historic impacts, Afro-Descendant nations and populations endure extreme loss and damage while being historically and systemically deprived of the wealth and power required to be self-determined and resilient;

WHEREAS, Afro-Descendant nations and people are disproportionately impacted by failed climate change adaptation, resulting in climate-forced migration, sea level rise, disasters, water crises, shifts in agricultural yields, and more;

WHEREAS, Loss and damage differentially experienced by Afro-Descendant nations and people include loss of lives, livelihoods, cultural heritage and critical ecosystems;

WHEREAS, Afro-Descendant nations and people are positioned among those least responsible for driving climate change;

WHEREAS, Out of the ten nations that are most at risk of impacts of climate change, as identified by The  Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative and Germanwatch Climate Risk Index, seven are Afro-Descendant nations– Haiti, Chad, Malawi, Niger, Kenya, Somalia, and Sudan; WHEREAS, Afro-Descendant persons in non-Afro-Descendant-dominant nations are made most vulnerable to climate change impacts, such as stateless Haitians residing in the Dominican Republic, the Afro-Descendant population in Brazil, the African American population in the United States, and beyond;

WHEREAS, The resurgence of hostile, anti-immigrant, nationalistic, and racist political ideology, as well as forces among non-African-Descendant nations, all abated by facilitated militarism, threaten mitigation, adaptation and relief for populations harmed and displaced by climate change; WHEREAS, Afro-Descendant populations are more likely to be exposed by planning, zoning and corporate and governance determinations to toxic facilities and practices that drive climate change, such as mining, coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, incinerators, transportation fuel emissions, landfills, waste burning, and more; WHEREAS, As a direct result of disproportionate toxic exposures and climate impacts, Afro-Descendant populations are more likely to experience compromised physical and mental health, economic disparity, and other disadvantageous outcomes; WHEREAS, The decade 2015-2025 has been declared by the United Nations to be the Decade of People of African Descent; WHEREAS, Environmental advocates have determined that we are in the climate decade; WHEREAS, The intersectional impacts of climate change tie disproportionately impacted people groups together in advocacy for system change;

WHEREAS, Afro-Descendant nations and communities have a cultural and historical relationship with the land, and a heritage anchored by living in harmony with the earth, as well as present day leadership on Just Transition practices connected to these traditions, from agricultural biodiversity to conservation, to cooperative cultures and economies, and beyond; WHEREAS, Transition innovators long before the call for a Just Transition became mainstream, and therefore the input and leadership of Afro-Descendant nations and people is vital to shaping fair climate justice solutions; WHEREAS, Human rights are explicitly uplifted in the UNFCCC, and the right to live free from discrimination is violated by environmental racism; WHEREAS, Gender, youth, Indigenous groups, trade unions, and other population-based designations are cited in the text of the UNFCCC thereby establishing precedence for citing race as a key consideration in upholding human rights for all; WHEREAS, Gender, youth, Indigenous groups, and trade unions are constituencies to the UNFCCC thereby establishing precedents for population-based constituencies that are differentially impacted by climate change; WHEREAS, There is justification through precedence and circumstance for Afro-Descendant populations to have standing as an organizing bloc to protect and uphold racialized justice and to pursue economic, civic, social, and political equity in the constituencies of the UNFCCC;

BE IT RESOLVED, That the UNFCCC Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee recognize the formation of an ngo constituency on Race comprised of delegates who are committed to advancing racial justice within the UNFCCC process; BE IT RESOLVED, That the UNFCCC establish a focal point on Race, Racism and Climate Change and that member states also establish focal points on Race, Racism, and Climate Change; BE IT RESOLVED, That the established UNFCCC constituencies explore intersectionality and joint demands and programming with the constituency on Race and Racism; BE IT RESOLVED, That Afro-Descendant institutions lead a field of research to detail the impacts and intersections between race, racism, and climate change;

BE IT RESOLVED, That Climate Reparations be established as a framework, particularly in the context of loss and damage, and a governing set of policies and programs to resource nations and communities that are most impacted and least responsible for climate change, to equitably advance climate change mitigation and adaptation measures; BE IT RESOLVED, That language on race and racism from this resolution and otherwise, as well as climate reparations, be inserted into the UNFCCC negotiations and outcomes for action; BE IT RESOLVED, That though the Global Afro-Descendant Climate Justice Collaborative authored this resolution, the undersigned acknowledges that race and racism impact multiple racialized populations and ethnic groups and therefore invites collaboration towards joint action on advancing racial justice within the UNFCCC; BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That NGOs focused on racial justice collectively organize to advance action addressing race and racism in global, national, and subnational policies on climate change.