Climate Change, Climate Justice, and a Call for Action

Jasmine L. Travers, PhD, AGPCNP-BC, RN; Elizabeth C. Schenk, PhD, MHI, RN-BC, FAAN; William E. Rosa, MS, RN, AGPCNP-BC, FCCM, FAAN; Patrice K. Nicholas, DNSc, DHL (Hon.), MPH, RN, NP-C, FAAN


Nurs Econ. 2019;37(1):9-12. 

In This Article

Climate Justice

What is climate justice? In the context of climate change, climate justice has been framed through a lens of rights, responsibilities, and procedures (Bulkeley, Edwards, & Fuller, 2014; Nicholas & Breakey, 2017). More specifically, the right to be protected from climate change, which includes removing threats to civil, political, and security rights, the responsibility for our nation to respond to harm caused by climate change, and the rollout of relevant procedures to justly attend to climate change.

As the largest population of health professionals and the nation's most trusted voice, nursing must lead on addressing climate change and health. This includes both mitigating climate change and adapting to newly exposed vulnerabilities arising from climate change throughout relevant social and political arenas and infusing in nursing curricula from baccalaureate to doctoral education and clinical training (Anderko, Schenk, & Huffling, 2017; Leffers, Levy, Nicholas, & Sweeney, 2017; Lilienfeld, Nicholas, Breakey, & Corless, 2018). Through the lens of climate justice as described above, it is clear that rights are being violated and responsibility has been identified. Now what are the procedural next steps for the nursing profession from a policy perspective?