Climate Justice is Migrant Justice

Right now, people in the Global South – which contributed least to the climate crisis – are bearing the brunts of its impact, while the Global North shuts its borders to keep people out. That needs to change – find out what JCWI is doing to fight for justice for people who move because of climate breakdown, now and in the future

JCWI is embarking on an exciting new project that aims to transform how we talk and think about climate-linked migration, based on the insights of people who have already had to move because of climate breakdown.

All over the world – but particularly in the Global South – communities are already being affected by the impacts of a climate crisis caused mainly by the global north. Farmers are losing their livelihoods, coastal communities their homes, and life-threatening weather events are on the rise.

We believe that, in the face of these challenges, everyone should have the right to stay and the right to move. That means protection from the worst impacts of the climate crisis, so that people can stay in their homes and communities – but it also means being able to move across borders to seek safety and a dignified life, if life at home is no longer viable.

Right now in the UK, people who move are demonised and scapegoated. Too many people are forced to risk their lives in order to seek safety here, because of the lack of safe routes. And already, far-right actors are whipping up fear and hatred about people who are forced to move because of climate breakdown, using climate-linked migration as an excuse to call for ever more violent and dangerous border policing.

How we respond to this matters. People on the move because of climate breakdown – now and in the future – need meaningful legal protections, policy solutions that work, and narratives based in justice and solidarity, not fear and division. That’s why we’re embarking on this exciting new project.

We’ve worked on the links between climate justice and migrant justice before – from fighting for protection for Afghan climate activists and helping to organise a migrant justice bloc at the global climate strike to working with others on promoting justice-based framing around climate-linked migration. Now, we’re working on a project that brings together legal, communications and policy experts to bring about meaningful change.

Our legal team will represent people who’ve had to cross borders because of climate breakdown, to protect their individual rights and establish groundbreaking legal precedents for the protection of other people who move.

As well as this legal work, we will be proposing policy solutions that respond to climate-linked migration, and messaging and framing that makes an effective case for people who move. To do this, we’ll be establishing a steering committee of people who’ve been forced to move because of the impacts of climate crisis. This steering committee will work together, supported by JCWI, to come up with policy proposals that would actually work for people impacted by climate breakdown. They’ll also develop messaging and framing that can avoids the damaging narratives we’ve seen in the past, and helps us win the argument for justice and solidarity.

To find out more about the legal work we’re doing on this, please email To learn about the steering committee and the policy and communications work we’re doing on this, you can contact