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Image by Mika Baumeister

LGBTQI+ People and the Climate Emergency

Duration: 1 hour

Delivery: In person or online

"Incredibly interesting and thought provoking. Many "why haven't I heard about this before?" or "why haven't I thought about this before?" moments" (Attendee)

Course or talk biography

What is this about?

Little has been researched about how the climate emergency is impacting the lives of sexual and gender minorities (see LGBTQI+). What we do know from scattered evidence, is that LGBTQI+ people face discrimination or exclusion from disaster shelters in times of Extreme Weather Events (EWE’s) (FOE, 2020) and are more likely to be at risk of being homeless as the climate alters (Albert Kennedy Trust, 2021). In places such as Uganda, LGBQI+ people are more likely to live in deep levels of poverty, meaning they will lack the capacity to move as the globe warms (Dalton, Weatherston and Butler, 2020). In Jamaica, homeless young LGBTQI+ people have been documented living in underground drains, which risks flooding and death during freak storms (ReportOUT, 2021). Yet despite this, the climate emergency and its impacts on sexual and gender minorities, is still an overlooked and under-researched area.

To tackle the growing climate emergency, the United Nations have set out ambitious targets in their Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with Goal 13 being ‘Climate Action.’ This promises specific targets, to “integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning” (Target 13.2). This is problematic, as there are still 67 countries where same sex intimacy is criminalised (ReportOUT, 2023) and in some nation states, sexual and gender minorities are either invisible and isolated from power regimes, or actively persecuted by the state.

This talk will examine how the climate emergency is affecting sexual and gender minorities in different nation states across the globe, and how it is intimately tied to their human rights. It will also highlight the ‘duel burden’ faced by LGBTQI+ people whereby they face heteronormative power structures, state homophobia, and isolation from climate emergency initiatives and planning. It will then conclude with key recommendations of how to include sexual and gender minorities in climate emergency planning, to truly fulfil the Agenda 2030 mission statement to ‘leave no-one behind.’

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