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Photo by Antoine Delepiere.

Climate change and economic insecurity are the two most pressing challenges for modern humanity, especially when taken together: climate warming intensifies existing structural inequities, and economic disparities worsen climate-induced suffering. This interdependence between climate change and economic insecurity has motivated a group of CURS Faculty Fellows to develop a new initiative called The Carolina Climate Equity Commons. The intent of the Commons is to create a collaborative working space to help UNC researchers connect with people living in communities that face existential threats to human life and livelihood.

Universities and think tanks around the globe are exploring ways to better support climate and equity goals in research and advocacy. Our goal is for climate equity solutions to become imaginable and therefore actionable. We envision the UNC Climate Equity Commons bringing a critical perspective to the climate equity discussion, recognizing the need to draw out the underlying racial, gender, spatial, health and economic inequities that magnify climate effects. Importantly, we also recognize the power of local agency and community-based organizing in this process: we seek to partner with and learn from vulnerable communities through engaged scholarship, collaboration and collective action.

In 2021, the Commons will host a series of open conversations to help scholars creatively frame climate equity research. The first in this series was Black Feminisms and Black Geographies – The Possibilities for Disaster and Climate Change Research with Fayola Jacobs, a live Zoom conversation that was held April 21, 2021.

For more information, contact Nichola Lowe or Meenu Tewari.


Photo: Flooding in Bangladesh/Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA): a network formed by organizations active in the field of sustainable sanitation. Photo by Antoine Delepiere.