Climate Curious: Why climate justice can’t happen without racial justice - TEDxLondon

Climate Curious: Why climate justice can’t happen without racial justice

Episode five of Climate Curious podcast is now live with our special guest, Rt Hon. David Lammy MP.

Understanding the relationship between climate and racial justice

This in the end is not just about saving the planet. It’s about the people on the planet. And the people on the planet bearing the brunt of it are black,” says David Lammy, Member of Parliament for Tottenham and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice on the latest episode of Climate Curious by TEDxLondon.

“If you are engaged and care about inequality, if you care about poverty, if you care about race and identity, if you care about gender, women, […] then get into this space.”

David Lammy MP

Lammy explains that the fight for racial justice is critical to saving the planet. He urges us to reframe the climate debate away from pastoral fantasy, and instead see it as a humanitarian crisis, where we must find inclusive, diverse and equitable solutions. This includes connecting the story of climate destruction to the exploitation of black and brown people.


“I think that this is a story that we have to connect to race, a racial identity, and to the Black Lives Matter movement. Because if Black Lives Matter, then you’ve got to deal with the climate emergency.”

David Lammy MP

Looking towards the future

Lammy is excited about the role that cities are taking in leading this change. He celebrates the C40 initiative and how cities can act more nimbly than nations, crediting the power of city mayors to push through measures in real time such as liveable streets, pedestrianising, and cycling routes. And in ten years’ time, he hopes we’ll be in a place where climate change is no longer an afterthought or an add on; it’ll be at the centre of the debate. 

In this conversation, recorded with TEDxLondon’s Maryam Pasha and advocate and activist Ben Hurst, Lammy explains why we need more black representation in the climate conversation, interrogates why if you care about identity, race, gender or equality you should also care about climate, and explores how we can all join the dots between racism and climate to create a more equitable world.

As Lammy says, until we live in a world where that is fully understood. None of us are truly free.

Check out our previous episodes on our blog here. Until next time, stay curious!