Illustrations for Principles of Feminist Agenda for a Green new deal

women’s environmental and development organisation

Conceptualising, designing and creation

Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal 

We created illustrations for FEMGND’s guiding principles for policymakers, advocates, and communities shape the Green New Deal. The climate crisis has emerged from interlocking systems of capitalism, resource extraction, labor exploitation, the commodification of nature, settler colonialism, imperialism, and militarism. It has roots in the exploitation of enslaved people, whose labor created wealth in the Global North, and of the continuing systemic racism that deepens and institutionalizes global inequity. 

To confront this crisis, we need coherence across policy sectors, from trade to military spending to development, to confront these interconnections. These 10 guiding principles aim to become guiding light for the climate action going forward.

Advance reproductive justice.

Our fights for climate justice and for bodily autonomy are linked. For example, toxic chemicals that pollute our water, air and land jeopardize our health, including reproductive health, often with a disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous and Latinx women due to systemic and institutional injustice. We reject false population growth alarmism and arguments that affix the blame for climate change on people’s, especially women’s, reproductive capacities. We advocate for accessible education that advances literacy and understanding of climate, gender and reproductive justice.

Create regenerative economies that center systemic, feminist alternatives.

A just transition must address inequalities in power and wealth while transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This means transforming an extractive, unjust status quo into new, socially just and environmentally sustainable economies that respect and balance nature’s regenerative capacity. We must shift from the privatization and commodification of nature to sustainable, equitable production and resource use. This includes understanding that GDP is an insufficient and detrimental economic indicator and that alternatives are required that measure quality of life and well-being rather than production.

Ensure democratically controlled, community-led solutions.

Through the leadership of women’s groups and local movements in creating local and global climate policy, the outcomes will be more democratic, stronger, and longer-lasting. Crucially, the Green New Deal must prioritize community self-determination regarding any policy or development project that impacts their land and livelihoods, and affirm the necessity of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. The solutions offered by the Green New Deal must be community-owned and community-led, including inclusive financing and equitable distribution of energy and the development of just housing and education policies.

Recognize that there is no such thing as domestic climate policy.

More than ever, we must understand the links between domestic and foreign policy. We can only avert climate catastrophe if the US works with the rest of the world to mitigate climate change and advance a feminist foreign policy that serves people and their communities, and is not coopted by corporate, militarized or exploitative agendas. This will require a commitment to global justice through diplomacy, international cooperation, and a recognition that the US has been the world’s largest historic carbon polluter, while those in the Global South have suffered its worst impacts.

Respect the leadership of young people as they fight for future generations.

Young feminists know there is an urgency to act, with many around the world already facing disastrous climate change impacts. We understand the need to leave the planet better than we found it, to learn from long-held traditions of resistance, and to embrace the vital work led by youth to confront climate change. Justice and our survival demand that we work together across generations to make major, far-reaching changes quickly.

Center Indigenous Peoples’ rights and leadership.

Indigenous Peoples hold rights over and protect 25% of the earth’s land surface and 80% of remaining biodiversity. To accurately reflect substantive solutions to the climate crisis, Indigenous sovereignty and solutions are paramount. This includes binding legal recognition of Indigenous land rights, real enforcement of the vital framework of Free, Prior and Informed Consent, and recognition of the Rights of Nature.

Confront institutional patriarchy and racism.

These systemic oppressions show up throughout our communities, movements, and policymaking spaces – from the criminalization of our bodies to racist gerrymandering and voter suppression, and from community red-lining for government flood insurance to the school-to-prison pipeline. Unless we tackle these systems head-on, they will continue to undermine the climate solutions we seek. We must fight for a true, participatory democracy. We cannot call on people to use their voice to confront the climate crisis when we know marginalized people’s voices are systematically oppressed. We must challenge unequal power dynamics and demand accountability from each other and from policymakers. 

Recognize that there is no such thing as domestic climate policy.

More than ever, we must understand the links between domestic and foreign policy. We can only avert climate catastrophe if the US works with the rest of the world to mitigate climate change and advance a feminist foreign policy that serves people and their communities, and is not coopted by corporate, militarized or exploitative agendas. This will require a commitment to global justice through diplomacy, international cooperation, and a recognition that the US has been the world’s largest historic carbon polluter, while those in the Global South have suffered its worst impacts.

Reject false and harmful responses to climate change that fail to address root causes.

We must demand a 100% transition to renewable energy that is justly sourced and divest from the mining, fossil fuel, and agribusiness corporations responsible for fueling climate change. We must reject false ‘solutions’ that allow these drivers of the climate crisis to persist, that perpetuate oppressions, and that greenwash their harms.

Systemically confront exploitative and unsustainable production patterns.

The roots of the climate crisis lie in an economic system that encourages corporate greed, unsustainable production, and profit-seeking over the well-being of people and the planet. Tackling these patterns systemically requires engaged citizenship, movement building, organizing with labor, public education, and mobilization aimed at transforming our economy to one grounded in justice, equity, rights, sustainability, and respect for nature and ecological balance.