Climate Change is a social justice issue!

Is the tendency to reduce the discussion on climate as an economic issue justified, or is there more to it? This perspective foregoes the reality that one person’s misuse of the environment affects not only themselves but also anyone who shares the immediate environment with them and even beyond. So, as some people take advantage of it and others just get to deal with the ensuing effects, climate change is a social justice issue. That said, if it goes as far as infringing fundamental individual freedoms, it would be safe to say that climate change is a human rights issue.
While the impacts of climate change affect everyone, it is surprising how few members of marginalized communities are part of the decision table on matters of climate change. I say surprisingly because climate change disproportionately affects low socioeconomic neighborhoods and people of color. The burden of climate change on marginalized communities may even come from well-intentioned plans of mitigating climate change. For example, most evacuations to pave the way for projects will happen in low socioeconomic neighborhoods. That said, climate change affects other things like clean water, clean energy, affordable shelter, and even clean air that will directly impact them—now and in the future.
Looking at that, it is indeed a social justice issue if the decision table does not have representation from marginalized communities. Therefore, the plea about environmental social justice is not unfounded, and subverting such discussions is equal to committing a social crime, and being apathetic is enabling it. Fair use would mean that you must resolve to be included in solving these problems. Where best to start with this inclusion? The youth! They have a unique perspective on which actions are most appropriate to combat climate change. Furthermore, young people from marginalized communities suffer disproportionately due to climate change. From high rates of asthma in the South Bronx to erosive shorelines in Senegal, West Africa that lead to food and employment insecurities; climate change threatens the very existence of vulnerable populations. Youth inclusion diversifies the decision table and leads to a more equitable outcome.