Abstract: Economic inequality reduces the political space for addressing climate change, by producing fear-based populism. Only when the safety, social status, and livelihoods of all members of society are assured will voluntary, democratic decisions be possible to reverse climate change and fairly mitigate its effects. Socio-environmental and climate justice, commoning, and decolonization are pre-conditions for participatory, responsible governance that both signals and assists the development of equitable socio-political systems. Degrowth movements, when they explicitly prioritize equity, can help to focus activism for climate justice and sustainable livelihoods.
This paper overviews the theoretical grounding for these arguments, drawing from the work of ecofeminist and Indigenous writers.
Indigenous (and also ecofeminist) praxis is grounded in activists’ leadership for commoning and resistance to extraction, the fossil fuel economy, and commodified property rights. These movements are building a politics of decolonization, respect, solidarity, and hope rather than xenophobia and despair.
Ecological Economics, Volume 160, June 2019, pp. 183-190