Climate Justice and The World We Want
“We could solve for climate change and still end up in a world we don’t want to live in.” This was the comment made early in Buoyant’s life that sums up why climate justice is at the core of solving for climate change.
At Buoyant, we have recently been talking more and more about climate justice. A complicated topic, climate justice can’t be boiled down to a simple definition. However, we feel that recognizing the nuance between climate justice and climate action provides a helpful starting point. Dr. Mariana Arcaya and Elizabeth Gribkoff of MIT impact explains this well:
“Calling for climate justice versus climate action has implications for policymaking, diplomacy, academic study, and activism by bringing attention to how different responses to climate change distribute harms and benefits, and who gets a role in forming those responses.”
For those who work in climate, applying a social justice lens to our work can vastly change the impact of our work. The task at hand is a challenging one. Race is the single largest determinant of who is disproportionately impacted by climate change. Still, we must further consider how to deploy solutions that combat the disparate impacts associated with socioeconomic status, gender, age, and geographic location. We collectively have a lot of work to do to realize more equitable climate solutions and design for the benefit of everyone.
For Buoyant, this isn’t a new topic. Ensuring that we do our part in the fight for climate justice was the core reason behind including adaptation in Buoyant’s investment thesis and a driver behind our approach to impact. Climate justice implies adaptation because many communities disproportionately impacted by climate change will face guaranteed hardships and intermittent calamities while we wait for the fruits of broader decarbonization efforts that will unfold over the next century. Arming them with the best tools to build resiliency is a moral imperative. It also stands to be a major investment opportunity.
At Buoyant, we have already invested in a few companies developing purpose-driven climate adaptation technologies. From managing and preventing urban flooding to hedging flood risk and shortening payout time to providing food security as the ocean warms.
That being said, we are constantly reflecting and evolving our understanding of what it means to solve climate change with an equitable lens. Recently, this has meant considering what type of future world we want to live in and our part in building it as investors and business leaders. We aim to be consistent students on this topic; thus, we’d like to push it forward with some of our thoughts and highlight the recent work of others with highly evolved thinking and efforts.
The future world we hope to create is one where these statements hold true:
Climate initiatives involve a diverse set of voices and ideas
We solve climate change for all, including disproportionately impacted groups
Developed solutions are not just for climate change but incorporate other environmental justice pain points
We solve climate change in a way that remediates existing inequities
To read more about how we break each of these down, check out our Medium post.
A great reminder that we must adapt as we mitigate (see thread here)
What we are reading…
Thomas Friedman’s take on the need for the US and China to rebuild trust
Jasmine Wards enthralling fictional novel about a family trying to survive Hurricane Katrina.
What we are listening to…
Stephen Lacey interviewed Amy and two other experts for a live Podcast this month to discuss AI and ClimateTech, with some fun guest appearances by ChatGPT
A great conversation on data vs. SaaS business models and what makes data business models attractive and but also hard.
Reid Hoffman's newest podcast focused on articulating the brightest versions of society. We especially liked a recent episode on Clean Energy Future with Saul Griffith of Rewiring America.
Ezra Klein’s latest conversation on AI, a very interesting conversation about how we can prepare for the AI-future