The Climate Justice Fund (the "CJF") is a one-of-a-kind financial facility to support the development and use of legal avenues towards achieving global climate justice. It seeks to build the wider enabling environment for the international climate justice movement through research, capacity building and collaborations among lawyers, scientists, climate change-affected communities, and other stakeholders.

The Climate Justice Fund is 100% civil society-led. It is a diverse group of experienced lawyers and campaigners with a long history in the field of climate activism and the law.

This Climate Justice Fund aims to support access to justice through its global network of climate lawyers, scientists, and campaigners and help the growing community of climate legal activists to navigate the increasing complexities associated with climate change as an area of law.

History

In 2015, the Climate Justice Programme put in place a Transitional Committee of international legal experts to commence work on the Climate Justice Fund. Over a two-year period, a number of consultations occurred with leading climate justice legal activists and lawyers in nearly every corner of the world.

By early 2017, a Board of Trustees was put in place and work was underway to register the Climate Justice Fund as a Charity in the UK. This process was completed in December 2017 and since then, fundraising efforts have been underway with preparations for launching the Climate Justice Fund Pilot Programme.

Vision

The organization envisions, at its core, the realization of climate justice.

We believe that empowerment of vulnerable people is central to climate justice. It has a basis in human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as gender democracy. Climate justice should enhance access to justice at the grassroots level, including environmental justice, facilitative justice, and procedural justice through inclusive participation.

We also believe that climate justice looks beyond mitigation to adaptation and loss and damage, and puts internal and external pressure on failing international policy processes.

We embrace the climate justice narrative that climate change is a moral issue, and requires support for victims of climate change in telling their stories to the world and holding those responsible to account.

Core Missions

The Climate Justice Fund aims to achieve transformational change: We will strive to identify transformational strategies and support the proliferation of legal initiatives and climate legal actions, in both the global north and south.

The Climate Justice Fund should bring balance to the landscape of climate law: We support an emphasis on litigation in those areas where the greatest impacts are being felt. The Climate Justice Fund will prioritize support for initiatives in the global south, and in doing so also ensure building the capacity of lawyers, judges, and other stakeholders and protect those in the front lines of climate change and climate litigation.

The Climate Justice Fund should support communities impacted by false solutions: With urgent mitigation needs often come more problematic climate actions, especially in the global south. So-called “solutions” that have negative impacts on communities, human rights, ecosystems, and equity will be addressed and those impacted will be supported to stand up for their rights and access justice.

The Climate Justice Fund should be a leading, diverse group of experts on climate law: The Climate Justice Fund is civil society-led and comprises a diverse group of experienced lawyers and campaigners with a long history in the field of climate law. This representative group can support access to a global network of climate lawyers, scientists, and campaigners, and provide the best expert advice to donors and others developing climate legal strategies.

The Climate Justice Fund should move faster and in a more flexible way than others: We will consciously avoid unnecessary bureaucracy, slow decision-making, compromise, and slow fund disbursement. The Climate Justice Fund will put in place measures to support small organizations, communities, and individuals.

The Climate Justice Fund will be transparent and has good governance: The Climate Justice Fund will operate through an open and inclusive governance structure that matches the political mission and will include expert advisory groups on different topics.