The Toronto Global Day of Action for Climate Justice is being organized by a coalition of environment and justice organizations and individuals in Toronto. It is timed to coincide with the COP26 (international climate summit) meetings in Glasgow, Scotland, and a worldwide network of actions.

From COP26 Coalition UK:

Call to action

Justice won’t be handed to us by world leaders or delivered by corporations. Only we can imagine and build the future that works for all of us.

The issue

We are living through a period of multiple breaking points – from climate to covid to racism. We know that these crises not only overlap, but share the same cause. 

While no one can escape the impacts of these crises, those who have done least to cause them suffer the most. Across the world, the poorest people and communities of colour are too often those bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. From coastal villages in Norfolk whose sea-defences are eroding faster than ever, to people living by the Niger Delta rivers blackened by oil spillage. 

Credit: Supratim Bhattacharjee / Climate Visuals

How did we get here?

We got to this crisis point because our political and economic system is built on inequality and injustice. For centuries, rich governments and corporations have been exploiting people and the planet for profit, no matter how much it harms the rest of us.  

Credit: Quarrie Photography | Jeff Walsh | Cass Hodge

The solution

In short: Climate justice, system change, power from below.

Like the climate crisis, our economic and political system is human-made. This also means it can be remade. We need system change that comes from the ground up. To solve these problems, we have to  solve them all together. Climate justice recognises that all of our struggles lead back to the same unjust system. Whether we are fighting for better pay at work, for clean water, or against police violence or the opening of a new mine. For control over our bodies or to stop the destruction of forests we live in. We need climate action that works for all of us, not just the people with the most money in their pocket. 

The solutions that we need already exist and are being practiced, but our leaders lack the political will to act. Our solutions not only reduce carbon emissions but create a fairer and more just world in the process – that means climate action based on justice, redistribution of resources and decentralisation of power

The crisis will not be solved if those most affected are not central to the solutions and decision-making. The impacts of the climate crisis vary across areas and communities. This means the best solutions for each area must be shaped by those who are experiencing the impacts. In many cases, indigenous and frontline communities have known the solutions for centuries. And afterall, we should all be able to participate in decisions that affect us.