We are living in a climate crisis. The science is clear. We need to rapidly change to a more just and sustainable society. This includes investing in sustainable internet infrastructures, to this date the world’s largest coal-powered machine. Often considered separately, the environment and the internet share much in common; both are global in scope, linked to exercising key human rights, and require cooperation and coordination across the planet. From water rights disputes between data centres and local residents, to rampant greenwashing misinformation by fossil fuel companies, the ecological consequences of the internet are just one of the many complex problems at the intersection of climate justice and technology.
We are so pleased to finally share research on the implications and intersections of climate justice for digital rights supported by Ford Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, and Ariadne. While the primary audience for the research is digital rights funders or adjacent technology funders, we believe the work can be useful for other funders and organisations given that the climate crisis and technology intersect with every other field and human rights topic. We come to this topic humbly, knowing that many practitioners have been thinking critically about these issues for a long time. We offer the following research as a starting place for digital rights funders who have felt unsure about how to begin untangling climate implications for their work.
The research is a bundle of eight different research pieces produced by four different organisations each with their own networks and perspectives. Below is the full list of all the research organised by the researcher or organisation that produced the work:
> The Engine Room: At the confluence of digital rights and climate & environmental justice: A landscape review
> BSR: Building a High-Quality Climate Science Information Environment: The Role of Social Media
> APC: At the interstice of digital rights and environmental justice. Four issue briefs to inform funding:
– Mapping the gaps between digital rights and environmental justice actors in the global South
– Environmental and digital rights: Exploring the potential for interplay and mutual reinforcement for better governance
– Extractivism, mining, and technology in the global South: Towards a common agenda for action
– Addressing the impact of disinformation on environmental movements through collaboration
> Open Environmental Data Project & Open Climate:
– Climate Justice & the Knowledge Commons: Opportunities for the digital rights space
– Environmental Justice, Climate Justice, and the Space of Digital Rights
Context for the research
The idea behind the initial research commission was to provide a landscape of themes and topics where digital rights and climate issues are deeply intertwined so we could begin to:
– build a shared surface area to develop a shared language and framing
– provide a resource for education of digital rights funders related to foundational climate concerns
– map potential levers of power and spaces for critical investment
Where to from here?
We are continuing to explore this intersection and build off this research. If you are a funder interested in learning more or getting involved in the next phase of the project, you can reach us at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.