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Letter from the Editors
Michelle Thorne, Babitha George and Shannon Dosemagen

Conversation With Branch’s Cover Artists
Aravani Art Project

Open Climate Then and Now
Shannon Dosemagen, Emilio Velis, Luis Felipe R. Murillo, Evelin Heidel, Michelle Thorne, Alex Stinson

Solarpunk and Repair

Taeyoon Choi

Geography of Robots

After-Times® M22 HD
Deepa Bhasthi

The Repair Shop 2049: Mending Things and Mobilising the Solarpunk Aesthetic
Paul Coulton, Tom Macpherson-Pope, Michael Stead

Solar-Centered Designing: An Eccentric Proposal
Andres Colmenares

Climate Justice Now

Climate Justice: The Debt Is Not On Us
Brisetha Hendricks, Kristophina Shilongo

A Call to Action for Environmental Justice in Tech
Sanjana Paul

New Research on Climate Justice and Digital Rights
Fieke Jansen

The Different Intersections of Digital rights and Climate
Shannon Dosemagen, Evelin Heidel, Emelia Williams, Katie Hoeberling

The Power of Open

Map of the Future
Shayna Robinson

Wikipedians Reimagine Open Climate in the African Context
Maxwell Beganim, Otuo-Acheampong Boakye, Euphemia Uwandu

Critical Openness and Digital Sustainability
Emilio Velis

African Traditional Knowledge and Open Science for Climate Mitigation
Thomas Mboa, Ahou Rachel Koumi

Anna Berti Suman

Slow Tech, Hi Craft

Slowing Down AI with Speculative Friction
Bogdana Rakova

River Walks, Mutual Aid and Open Futures
Siddharth Agarwal

Michelle Cheripka

Alternative Computing Environments

Computing from the South / Computação do Sul
TC Silva, LF Murillo, Vince Tozzi, Francisco Caminati, Alice Bonafé, Junior Paixão, Mariana Rocha Arduini , Djakson Filho, Layla Xavier

Learning from COWs: Community Owned Wifi-Mesh
TB Dinesh, Shafali Jain, Sanketh Kumar, Micah Alex

Smarter, Greener Cities through Community, Open Data and Systems Thinking
Sruti Modekurty

Tech’s Environmental Impact

Apple just launched its first self-repair program. Other tech companies are about to follow.
Maddie Stone, Grist

Environmental Impact Assessment of Open Technology
Allie Novak, Shannon Dosemagen

Boavizta Project: Assessing the Environmental Impact of Digital Technology with Open Tools
Eric Fourboul, David Ekchajzer

The Fermi Problem of Climate Change
Anna Knörr

Fossil-Free Internet

The People’s Cloud: Manifesting Community and Eco-led Digital Spaces
Sarah Kearns

CO2.js: An Open Library for Digital Carbon Reporting
Fershad Irani

Library Love

Social Infrastructure Is What Love Looks Like in Public
Mai Ishikawa Sutton

Leading with Slow Craft
Nate Hill

Changing Soft Adaptation Limits, Seed By Seed
Daniela Soleri, Rebecca Newburn, Nate Kleinman, Mary K Johnson, Hayden Kesterson, Nick P Wrenn

About Branch

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Climate Justice: The Debt Is Not On Us

We are the disenfranchised people: activists, experts of our environments and the ‘local communities’ often cited in climate action agendas. We, referred to here as the Global Majority, address this to our counterparts from governments, civil society and other groups that have historically forced upon us a world order that positions a (Global) Minority as progressively superior. We speak specifically to groups working on projects that directly or indirectly affect the global majority, whether in open data, environmentalism or those at the intersections of both. 

Mainstream approaches and narratives on the climate crisis still fall short of addressing core issues of justice, power and inequality. New evidence shows us that the richest people around the world are driving global warming. Most of the richest people are still concentrated in the Global Minority whilst the most vulnerable are concentrated in the Global Majority. Although these vulnerable people contribute the least to the climate crisis, they bear the brunt of climate change.

This is especially true for rural communities that live in climate-vulnerable geographies and are still reliant on the natural environments for their livelihoods. Many such communities are concentrated in the Global Majority and are made most vulnerable by their socio-economic status and low capacity to cope with climate change risk. These groups of people are also disproportionately impacted by the measures taken by international entities and governments actively addressing climate change. Their agency is often disregarded and their approaches, although proven to be the most sustainable, tokenized. 

Our submission for Branch targets actors who are part of the Global Minority, recognizing that framing around the climate crisis that lacks this power analysis impacts the solutions proposed for the climate crisis. It also highlights that although an urgent matter, climate action also requires slow thought through sustainable approaches and responses. 

Although an urgent matter, climate action also requires slow thought through sustainable approaches and responses. 

Opening up data is an important first step in respecting the agency of marginalized and vulnerable communities and breaking the current cycle of dependency. We also believe opening up data may allow other communities to find innovative ways to tackle climate change, which is currently limited due to agenda-setting emanating from those in the Global Minority. Open climate data is a tool that can be useful for local communities, among other beneficiaries, it can assist them in drafting strong proposals for financing and developing fitting solutions that may not be apparent at first sight.

Very often these [vulnerable] communities remain solely a source of data and rarely users of it.

However, very often these communities remain solely a source of data and rarely users of it. Additionally, the reluctance of actors to open and share their data inhibits local communities from realizing the full potential of this data, such as allowing them to recognize the intersectional issues impacting them.

Data sharing also facilitates collaboration among marginalized communities—allowing them to see and identify with each others’ similar experiences and surface opportunities to combine efforts. Consequently, we have those communities who form part of the formal structures of approaches identified to help people adapt to the effects of climate change (for example such as those who are part of Community-based Natural Resources Management programs) still being unfairly disadvantaged in their capacity to respond. 

Beyond accessing climate finance for adaptation and mitigation, vulnerable communities and countries should be compensated for loss and damage by the Global Minority who have contributed to and benefited most from the climate crisis. Further to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scope on loss and damage we support the sentiments of a report by the climate and community project stating that, “Climate justice should not be thought of simply as compensation for past environmental, economic, and social damages, but as world making—that is, debt justice and enhanced climate finance should help build a platform for countries in the Global South to achieve low-carbon development and robust, resilient infrastructure.”

We link this to current climate action approaches which ignore the historical accountability of the Global Minority and the unequal distribution of the benefits of climate data, specifically open climate data.

The downloadable graphic below applies a justice approach to climate action first by recognizing that not all actors carry the same responsibility when it comes to climate change action and secondly, that global experts need to be explicit in their recognition of local communities as agents of their own situations.

**There are key links in blue in this image that we encourage you to click through. To access them, please download the pdf

About the Authors

Brisetha Hendricks is a community leader and social justice advocate. She is also a communications student with a particular interest in political communication. She has extensive experience in community-based natural resource management and climate change impact amelioration projects. She currently serves as chairperson of the Southern Kunene Regional Conservancy Association in the rural northwest of Namibia.

Kristophina Shilongo is a policy researcher with interests in applying a social justice approach for the sustainable adoption of data-driven technologies. She is also curious about drawing lessons from the management of other resources to apply to collective/participatory data governance frameworks.