Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


International Studies

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Brian Dowd-Uribe

Second Advisor

Dana Zartner


Global climate change will have disproportionate effects on low-income and minority communities around the world producing important justice challenges. As national governments increasingly rely on local governments, civil society, and private transnational actors to establish and implement climate actions policies, it is important to assess whether and how these newly emergent actors can address these justice challenges. First this thesis examines concepts of justice in relation to climate change across different scales in order to develop a comprehensive conceptual framework of climate justice. This conceptual framework expands the scale of the international climate justice movement address local concerns. Further, the framework is used as an analytical tool for examining the justice implications of urban climate change initiatives in a database of 627 experiments within 100 global cities. The results reveal that the vast majority of climate experiments at the local-level are predominantly led by local governments. However, experiments led by community based organizations, NGOs, and private actors were much more likely to include climate justice concerns. As cities and local governments become leaders in implementing climate actions, concerns for climate justice should be included within the creation of climate policy.