The Climate Justice Coalition is a coalition of South African trade unions, grassroots, community-based and non-profit organisations
The Climate Justice Coalition (CJC) is a South African coalition of trade unions, civil society, grassroots, and community-based organisations. Together we are taking on the climate crisis by advancing a transformative climate justice agenda, which works to overcome the deep inequality, poverty and multiple injustices that South Africa faces.
At the root of the climate crisis is an extractive capitalist economic system that exploits people and degrades our environment. To overcome the power of corporations, polluters and politicians blocking action and accountability on climate justice will take all of us working together.
At the CJC, we are working together towards a climate justice agenda which advances environmental, energy, youth, gender, racial, immigrant, social, and economic justice together.
To overcome the economic systems, polluting corporations and corrupted politicians blocking action, we are building a deeper, stronger and more powerful movement to secure climate justice in our lifetimes. We have over 40 member organisations working on various social and environmental justice issues.
We recognise that South Africa, was and continues to be, built on the dispossession of the Black majority and exploitation of the working class people. We aim to work together with workers, unions, and mining impacted and frontline communities to build this vision.
Our coalition seeks to capacitate and empower Black womxn and youth to actively engage in spaces they have been historically and purposely excluded from, as we build an intergenerational, anti-racist, and feminist movement.The CJC is grounded in respect for and the advancement of human rights, equality, dignity, justice and fairness for all.
As a coalition, we aim to advance the struggle for climate justice using a combination of movement building, education, sustained organising, campaigning, advocacy and litigation.
As a national coalition, we have a monthly membership meeting online to connect to members across the country, but we also organise workshops, in-person meetings, protests and more.
We aim to advance climate justice using a combination of:
1. Movement building that is strong, dynamic and diverse, connecting to the broader struggles for social, environmental, and economic justice facing South Africa.
2. Education, research, and capacity strengthening to support movement building as well as the resilience strategies of communities.
3. Sustained, targeted, and strategic mobilisation and campaigning to advance climate action and accountability
4. Litigation and legal advocacy to support and promote progressive climate legislation and policy
We also have various working groups which advance the work of the Coalition, such as the energy and mining justice, economic justice, legal, and communications working groups. Each working group also meets once a month.
Besides the standing Working Groups above, the coalition is also empowered to form ad-hoc Working Groups on a needs basis. Similar to the standing Working Groups, such groups should report back to the main coalition and ensure major decisions are approved by the members and Steering Committee. Working groups can be formed for mobilisation purposes, to respond to particular policy issues, to help organise our political school and popular education workshops.
The legal working group shares information and coordinates on climate justice-related legal matters. It also helps support and drive cases against polluting and harmful projects whilst also strengthening opportunities for progressive legislation and implementation (e.g. Climate Bill).
Facilitator: Robert Krause (CALS)
The economic justice group builds off and continues our previous research and advocacy for a just recovery from COVID-19. It also explores work that advances progressive and transformative economic policies and initiatives to a justice transition from fossil fuels towards a more people centred and sustainable economy.
Facilitator: Lungisa Ngapi and Tara Nair Van Ryneveld (SAFCEI)
Building on our Green New Eskom campaign, the work of the energy and mining justice task team will continue to organise for a rapid and just transition to a more socially-owned, renewable energy-powered economy, providing clean, safe, and affordable energy for all, with no worker and community left behind. Also building on the #UprootTheDMRE mobilisation and demands, we will work to ensure mining justice as central to that vision.
Facilitator: Ferron Pedro (350.org)
The communications group works to develop online and offline strategic communications campaigns and strategies aligned to our mission of shifting the climate justice narrative and promoting popular support for climate justice and accountability. Check out our podcast: Just Us and the Climate where we bring climate change back down to earth and show how it’s not only a crisis, but an opportunity to build a better, more just world.
Facilitator: Shaazia Ebrahim (Climate Justice Coalition)
The work of the coalition is driven by its members and the coalition is governed by a secretariat and an elected steering committee.
The CJC seeks to be guided and driven as much as possible through a bottom up, democratic process through its members. To ensure accountable leadership and direction for the coalition, it is coordinated through a Steering Committee (SC) which ensures strategic leadership, oversight, accountability, and direction for the coalition.
Within the SC, the expanded secretariat works on a more day-to-day basis to enact the vision of the coalition and the SC.
Voting: Members of the SC are selected on the basis of their expertise and relevance to the CJC objectives. This is done through a nomination and voting process. Voting will ideally be run and administered by the coordinator of the coalition.
Ideal Composition: The SC should be reflective of both the people of South Africa, and the diverse and intersectional approach espoused by the coalition. As such we aim to uplift the voices of frontline, working class communities, youth, workers, women, and Black people in all their diversity. We also aim to ensure strong gender and racial representation, aiming for >50% women/lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and agender (LGBTQIA+) and >70% African, Coloured, and Indian people.
To have an SC that represents the diverse and intersectional approach, the coalition suggests an ideal SC make-up will include members from unions, frontline, climate justice, social justice, gender, human rights/legal, unemployed people’s formations, youth, anti-corruption, community-based and faith-based formations.