Home Climate justice The importance of ecofeminism and environmental ethics

The importance of ecofeminism and environmental ethics


To better understand the concepts of ecofeminism and environmental ethics, we must first realize that climate change is not only an environmental issue, but also a political and social issue. These concepts take on more importance in the face of the current climate crisis and are more relevant than ever when we realize that the root causes (capitalism, patriarchy, etc.) of climate change are also at the origin of climate change. deep injustices.

Women – already a vulnerable group in society – will become even more so as a result of climate change. In its 2020 report Forced out by climate change, the international solidarity association CARE emphasizes that in developing countries, women are particularly affected: they are the ones who provide support and supplies of food, water and fuel to their families. As climate change exacerbates supplies, their work and tasks are becoming increasingly difficult. There is no doubt that women are, and will continue to be in the future, extremely vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis and environmental degradation.

The latest IPCC report confirmed the responsibility of human activities in climate change, as well as the need to radically change our production and consumption patterns to achieve a low-carbon economy. Those responsible for this environmental damage should also be responsible for ensuring a healthy and sustainable environment for present and future generations. Environmental ethics – in accordance with Jonas’ review of this concept – fits in perfectly with the logic since it advocates profound changes in the economic sphere in terms of production and consumption methods. These are the only means that would allow us to preserve our environment and not compromise the resources it offers us and on which humans depend.

Women have a key role to play in making this intergenerational equity a reality. “We women have been generations of pioneers and leaders in environmental conservation. Our traditional knowledge, know-how and skills are needed more than ever to build resilience to climate impacts and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Khadidjath Zimé Arouna – a young woman beneficiary of the program Green Amazons program. Indeed, women are at the forefront of their communities when it comes to finding effective and sustainable solutions to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis on themselves as well as the well-being of their families. .

Ecofeminism is a current of environmental ethics that has gained momentum in recent years due to the climate crisis. She places the question of gender relations and domination in the approach to environmental protection at the center of her thinking. This current, which considers that there is a link between the exploitation of nature and that of women, advocates principles such as equity (equitable distribution of benefits and burdens), “nothing for us without us” (the closer to the problem are closer to the solutions), and collective access (our movements must be flexible and nuanced in how we engage with each other). These principles take us back to the essence of climate justice which, according to the Mary Robinson Foundation, “connects human rights and development to achieve a people-centred approach, protecting the rights of the most vulnerable and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its consequences. impacts in an equitable and just manner”. Thus, it can be said that promoting ecofeminism is therefore promoting climate justice.

The policies, democratic institutions and major organizations at the international level, essential to achieving climate justice, must therefore better take into account the experiences of women, invest in women leaders and activists who are at the forefront of the ecofeminist movement and create a supportive environment allowing them to freely express their thoughts and opinions.

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