How can a Legal Organization Combat Climate Change?

When most people think about climate change and the impact of shifting temperatures on global ecosystems, their thoughts probably turn toward the sciences, like ecology, meteorology, biology, and agriculture. They might imagine labs and white coats, or NOAA experts out in the field, taking samples and measurements. The front lines in this conflict generally involve farmers, technicians, medical researchers and epidemiologists, supported by tech start-ups, clean power facilities, and the hardworking forward thinkers who create and install solar panels and wind turbines. But lawyers and human rights activists probably don’t spring to mind, at least not right away.

As a legal team, how exactly are we joining the ranks of those who dedicate their labor and innovation to the fight against climate change?

Here at Just Atonement, we recognize that our ecosystem controls every aspect of our lives. It’s the air we breathe and the water we drink, but it also represents the underpinnings of our global economy and every one of the social systems that sustain our way of life. In previous centuries, social contracts and industry models have shifted to accommodate the impacts of colonialism, global trade, and in our most recent century, global war. The next chapter will bring the next new and unprecedented challenge for humanity: attempting to manage and maintain the unimaginably complex ecosystems that sustain life on our planet. And as we work to navigate this new challenge, we’ll face a second and parallel challenge: Determining who will gain, who will lose, who will profit and who will suffer as resource allocation shifts and populations shift in turn.

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As millions of people slowly migrate inland from coastal cities, where will they go and what will become of those who are economically left behind? As new insect and bacteria populations surge, who will suffer the greatest health impacts, and where these people find justice and recourse? How will life- saving technological innovations find funding and support? And most of all, what will our complex system of global justice look like as national borders shift, populations drift, and the nature of global conflict enters a new era?

It falls to legal experts to sort out many of these as-yet unknowns, and we’re hearing the call and rising to the challenge.

Of course we can’t do it alone. Our office is small and our reach is limited. But every day, we’re forming partnerships with companies, think tanks, research institutions, and individuals like you. If you believe you have talent to offer and you’d like to join us in our efforts to promote global justice in a changing world, contact us. We’re interested in your insights and we welcome your contributions!