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Media and Transnational Climate Justice

Indigenous Activism and Climate Politics


Anna Roosvall and Matthew Tegelberg

Media and Transnational Climate Justice captures the intriguing nexus of globalization, crisis, justice, activism and news communication, at a time when radical measures are increasingly demanded to address one of the most pressing global issues: climate change. Anna Roosvall and Matthew Tegelberg take a unique approach to climate justice by focusing on transnational rather than international aspects, thereby contributing to the development of theories of justice for a global age, as well as in relation to media studies. The book specifically explores the roles, situations and activism of indigenous peoples who do not have full representation at UN climate summits despite being among those most exposed to injustices pertaining to climate change, as well as to injustices relating to politics and media coverage. This book thus scrutinizes political and ideological dimensions of the global phenomenon of climate change through interviews and observations with indigenous activists at UN climate summits, in combination with extensive empirical research conducted on legacy and social media coverage of climate change and indigenous peoples. The authors conclude by discussing transnational solidarity and suggest a solidarian mode of communication as a response to both the global crisis of climate change and the broader issues of injustice faced by indigenous peoples regarding redistribution, recognition and political representation.

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2 What Is Climate Justice?: Justice, Climate and the Media


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Justice, Climate and the Media

I want to invite climate justice into Chukotka region … to help us to protect the territory and save our lands.

—Olga Atsynga Letykai Csonka, Chukchi people (Russia, COP21)

When Olga Atsynga Letykai Csonka talks about inviting climate justice into the Chukotka region in north-eastern Russia, she alludes to a dearth of ethics, global equality, human rights, democratic accountability, issues of participation and historical responsibility when it comes to climate change effects and how they need to be tackled there (see Chatterton, Featherstone, & Routledge, 2013; de Onís, 2012; Page, 2006; Shepard & Corbin-Mark, 2009; Shue, 2014). It is a locally rooted experience of vulnerability, injustice and lack of responsibility from more privileged groups. At the same time it is, as we shall see, a common experience in a worldwide, transnational community of diverse indigenous groups, trying to protect their territories and save their lands on all continents.

In order to understand climate justice we need to delineate how justice can be understood more broadly. Thus we begin this largely theoretical chapter by discussing the substance of justice and connected ways to amend injustice (Fraser, 2008). Subsequently we detail how responsibility for justice can be understood. ← 33 | 34 → Who is responsible for amending injustice? And how does responsibility relate to the media? These issues are thereafter related to the framing of justice, focused on geographical...

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