Why equity is fundamental in climate change policy research

Klinsky, Sonja / Timmons Roberts / Saleemul Huq / Chukwumerije Okereke / Peter Newell / Peter Dauvergne / Karen O’Brien / Heike Schroeder / Petra Tschakert / Jennifer Clapp / Margaret Keck / Frank Biermann / Diana Liverman / Joyeeta Gupta / Atiq Rahman /
External Publications (2016)

published on Global Environmental Change doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.08.002


This article argues that it is fundamental for research on climate change policy to address equity for at least four reasons: (1) scholars have an obligation to provide rigorous work on human-wellbeing and in consideration of international law and human rights; (2) understandings of equity and justice are essential to political analysis; (3) equity concerns are not necessarily in tension with ambitious climate action; (4) understanding trade-offs between climate change policy and equity requires to consider equity concerns in the first place. Hence, equity must not be side-lined by researchers as a potential distraction from addressing climate change as such. Indeed, more equity research is essential to understand the dynamics of political claims, actions and trade-offs in climate change policy.

About the authors

Bauer, Steffen

Political scientist


Messner, Dirk

Political Scientist


Further experts

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Beck, Tanja

Political Science 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Dippel, Beatrice


Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Hägele, Ramona

Political Scientist 

Iacobuta, Gabriela

Climate and sustainable development policy 

Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Malerba, Daniele


Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna


Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist