National Election 2020

We based our election campaign on the principle that a vote with climate justice in mind is a vote for a better future for Aotearoa New Zealand, and those who call it home.

This campaign amplified the voices that we needed to hear on climate change, while engaging and educating our supporters on Climate Justice in the context of the General Election.


What is Climate Justice? 

Climate Justice is a response to climate change that recognises that climate change is social issue as well as an environmental issue. 

Climate change affects individuals and communities to different extents, exacerbating existing inequalities based on ethnicity, age, gender, disability, income and location, and the intersections between them. 

Climate Change also affects countries to different extents. Many countries most affected have contributed least to global greenhouse gas emissions but are likely to be influenced first and more severely than other major emitters. 

When we address climate change, we need to address the inequities within it, including the structural issues from which existing inequalities derive. Doing this and will lead us toward a greener, brighter future for everyone. 

A vote for climate justice could be a vote for safe, affordable housing. A vote for climate justice could be a vote for educational reform, or a vote for the living wage, or a vote for Māori Wards in local councils, or progressive immigration policies, the list goes on.


“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Yet, when it comes to the effects of climate change, there has been nothing but chronic injustice and the corrosion of human rights.”

― Mary Robinson, Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future


Climate Justice in Aotearoa New Zealand

In Aotearoa New Zealand, a climate justice-oriented response to climate change means collaboratively co-designing solutions, following the leadership of folks most affected. Climate change will disproportionately impact rurally and geographically exposed communities, lower socio-economic communities, historically disadvantaged communities and communities that currently rely on unsustainable industries for jobs. Effective solutions come from working together to create space for empowerment.

Climate Justice in Aotearoa New Zealand also means following the leadership of mana whenua and honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi. A just transition to a Zero Carbon Aotearoa will require us to be good Tiriti-partners to find solutions that uphold Te Tiriti and are co-designed with diverse representation from the local community, iwi and hapū.


Climate Justice Internationally 

International examples include our Pacific neighbours in large ocean nations that are often low lying and exposed to sea level rise. They are also more likely to be affected by extreme weather events like hurricanes and unseasonal rainfall, despite having extremely low contributions to global emissions.

Countries like Somalia in sub-Saharan Africa will also be exposed to extreme weather, severe droughts, and loss of livelihoods. This can lead to forced migration, in some cases exacerbating existing tensions in receiving nations, sometimes leading to conflict.

It is the responsibility of the international community to reduce emissions and support nations with greater exposure to climate change. 


What can you do? 

  1. Educate yourself and the people around you. Do your research and have a kōrero with your friends and whānau.
  2. Support historically disadvantaged groups to lead their own solutions for climate justice. Use your platform to amplify their voices. 
  3. Contact your local MP (or even the Prime Minister!) and tell them why Climate Justice is important to you 
  4. Vote and support parties and campaigns advocating for just climate policies.


He waka eke noa

 – We’re all in this together



Climate Justice & Election 2020: Climate Groups and MPs discuss

Join representatives from Te Ara Whatu, Pacific Climate Warriors, SustainedAbility, Vote Climate and Generation Zero as we discuss Climate Justice with representatives of New Zealand's major political parties in the context of Election 2020 - an election that will determine how Aotearoa deals with climate change at this critical juncture in time.


Further Resources 

What is Climate Justice? - 350 Aotearoa

Generation Zero - Climate Justice Election 2020

The Geography of Climate Justice - Mary Robinson Foundation 

What is 'climate justice'? - Yale Climate Connections

Environmental and Climate Justice - NAACP

Te Tiriti o Waitangi resources from Network Waitangi Otautahi

Voting with a climate lens - what it is and how to do it