Taylor & Francis
School of Arts and Humanities / Centre for People, Place and Planet
Climate change is a social justice issue, and people who experience disadvantage and marginalisation are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In 2019–2020, the government of the state of Western Australia (WA) held the world’s first inquiry into climate change and health. The Inquiry report, submissions, and hearing transcripts make an important contribution to a small but growing body of evidence that climate change exacerbates and reinforces existing social inequalities in WA in areas such as health, economics, gender relations, and access and inclusion. However, in late-2020, the WA government released its 38-page Climate Policy, with very limited reference to social justice and only one use of the word ‘people’. Our critical intersectional feminist analysis finds a prevailing dissonance between climate evidence and climate policy in WA. Climate governance in WA is ill prepared, if not unwilling, to support people who experience disadvantage and are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. There is an urgent need for policies and actions to address multiple dimensions of inequality under climate change, across the fields of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and disaster response.
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