Climate Apartheid: The Forgetting of Race in the Anthropocene

Tuana, Nancy
Critical Philosophy of Race

Despite recognition of the gender dimensions of climate change, there is little attention to racism in climate justice perspectives. In response, this article advocates developing an ecologically informed intersectional approach designed to disclose the ways racism contributes to the construction of illegible lives in the domain of climate policies and practices. Differential impacts of climate change, while an important dimension, is ultimately inadequate to understanding and responding to both climate justice and environmental racism. What is required is a rich understanding of the histories and lineages of the deep incorporation of racism and environmental exploitation. To catalyze such an approach to climate justice, this article develops an analysis of three instances of the intermingling of racism and environmental exploitation: climate adaptation practices in Lagos, Nigeria; the enmeshment of race and coal mining in the post–Civil War United States; and the infusing of precarity and rainforest destruction in Brazil.