Inequality of Climate Change
The Earth’s temperature is increasing at an unprecedented rate, contributing to rising sea levels, warming oceans, ocean acidification, and glacial retreat. While climate change is a global phenomenon, it is hitting the world’s poorest regions -- and most marginalized communities -- the hardest.
For many people, these changing conditions are creating and deepening hardship in daily life by impacting human health, economic activity, and threatening water and food security. Far too often, however, stories of marginalized communities such as women, youth and indigenous peoples get lost in the global climate change discussion and debate.
With COP 21 quickly approaching, EJN is looking to identify and bring global attention to the increased struggle of the world’s most vulnerable communities against climate change indicators. Stories selected for these grants will take a multimedia approach to explore people facing difficult or unique challenges as a result of the changing climate. Potential grantees should give serious consideration to the medium(s) being used to tell the story (i.e. video, photos, interactive online platforms, and/or text) and how their proposal can raise awareness and inform global audiences.
Funding for this series is being provided by the Oak Foundation.
All story ideas are welcome, but we are especially interested in proposals that address the following topics: gender, health, poverty, youth, indigenous peoples, and extreme weather. Applicants may propose other compelling ideas, but we do expect the vulnerability of people to the impact of climate change indicators to be a key feature of all story proposals. As these stories are planned to be released ahead of COP21, competitive applicants will also consider the role their local or regional story could play in climate change discussions at an international level.
The following questions are designed to get applicants thinking about the direction of their proposal, but this list is by no means exhaustive:
Climate change is a global phenomenon, but no large demographic is feeling its effects greater than women, who make up the majority of the world’s poor and are heavily reliant on the natural resources it threatens to provide for themselves and their families. See additional EJN resources on gender and climate change here.
- In what ways are women more vulnerable to climate change indicators?
- How are women adapting to the challenges posed by climate change and mitigating its effects on their family or community?
- What impact is climate change having on traditional gender roles in a society?
Earth’s changing climate poses significant short and long-term threats to human health, with the World Health Organization recently estimating that climate change indicators will be responsible for an additional 250,000 deaths annually by 2030. In addition to the short-term impacts of rising temperatures, floods and extreme weather, the changing climate threatens crop yields, exacerbates respiratory conditions and contributes to the spread of waterborne and vector-borne disease. Additional resources on health and climate change can be found here and here, with some additional questions to think about.
- What physical, social and/or psychological impacts is climate change having on the health of a population?
- What does climate change mean for existing health threats? What new health threats could climate change pose?
- How is a community adapting to increased health risks? What lessons can be learned from their approach?
Climate change is affecting the world’s oceans and lands, but it’s the poorest communities who are paying the largest price. Worsening conditions are exacerbating existing global inequalities by making it difficult for people and countries to escape poverty.
- In what ways are impoverished populations more susceptible to the effects of climate change?
- What are poorer communities doing in order to combat these threats?
- How are climate change impacts complicating poverty reduction efforts?
- What innovative methods are being used to combat such conditions as desertification, drought, flooding, soil erosion, landslides, natural disasters, etc.?
Young people account for a large percentage of the population in many developing countries where climate change is taking a major toll, leaving them particularly exposed to current and future impacts. Children and teens are highly susceptible to malnutrition, waterborne and vector-borne diseases -- many conditions shown to be exacerbated by our warming planet -- and they can face compromised education, as well as physical and psychological stress as a result.
- In what ways is climate change affecting the youngest members of a community? What does this mean for long-term development?
- How are the effects of climate change on young people deepening inequality in developing countries?
- How are young people taking stake in mitigating the effects of climate change on their community? Is their approach applicable on a greater scale? How?
Indigenous peoples are often highly reliant on the environment and natural resources, making them especially vulnerable to the threats posed by climate change. More often than not, the plight of these groups is overlooked and deepens challenges already faced as a result of political and economic marginalization, human rights violations and other forms of discrimination.
- How is climate change directly impacting traditional practices and ways of life?
- How are groups coping with these changes? What happens if adaptation fails?
- How are the damaging effects of climate change exacerbating other problems already felt by some of these marginalized communities?
The incidence rate and intensity of natural disasters has been increasing over the last few decades. Even if climate change cannot be pointed to as the sole culprit of this rising trend, it will likely have a huge impact on future events as rising temperatures across the globe increase the likelihood of weather-related disasters that could include drought and increased power of storms and monsoons.
- In what ways are extreme weather events such as monsoons and typhoons exacerbating existing global inequalities?
- What groups are being affected the most by these types of catastrophes and why?
- How successful are international efforts to prepare communities for these types of events? Should the increased frequency and intensity of these events change approaches to international development?
EJN is offering grants ranging from $500 to $2,500 depending on the proposal and method of coverage, with some flexibility for in-depth stories using innovative approaches to storytelling. Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested.
Expected story lengths:
Long-form Narrative: 2,500 to 5,000 words*
News Article (with photos): 500 to 1,200 words Video Package: 2 to 6+ minutes
Multimedia Package: Video, graphics, photos, text, maps
*Applicants for long-form narratives should include plans for multimedia elements (i.e. video, photos) in their pitch.
Who should apply?
Journalists (online, print, television) and other expert media practitioners with a track record of reporting on climate change and other environmental issues are welcome to apply. We encourage freelancers and staff from all types of media outlets -- both large and small -- to submit applications. We will be offering competitive rates for stories, but do have a limited budget. We encourage story writers and producers to publish or broadcast their stories in other media as long as Internews and the Oak Foundation are also given rights to publish, broadcast and distribute them freely.
Deadline for Applications is August 15, 2015 at midnight (2400) PDT.