Climate Change and Disability

“An extraordinary hub of resources and journalism on disabled people's climate activism.” – Julia Watts Belser, Georgetown University

See resources in plain language and easy read or in Spanish or French.

Climate breakdown will impact all areas of life. We are working to understand the impacts it will have on disabled people and responses based on leadership of disabled people and the wider disability community.

Disability Debrief reports on the climate crisis, and curates a guide to the growing resources in this area. Our original reporting explores research, people and stories from around the world. And our guide to resources showcases voices and wisdom from the disability community.

Our work on climate is led by Áine Kelly-Costello, a disabled storyteller and campaigner based in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is made possible by support from readers and CBM Global. Disability Debrief is a partner of Covering Climate Now.

For curated resources in other subjects, see the Debrief library.


Entry Points

There are many connections between disability and climate. Áine has written an invitation into the meeting between them, offering an invitation to different entry-points, and grounding it in disability justice, care and community:

Where disability and climate meet
Disabled wisdom and an invitation to community
Thumbnail illustration of an apocalyptic scene. A man with a ventilation tube sits in front of a factory, chimneys spewing pollution.

Resource guide

As communities around the world feel the impacts of climate breakdown, and the need for adaptation is ever-more urgent, there are a growing range of interventions from disabled people, and resources on different areas.

Lovingly compiled by Áine, our guide intentionally uplifts marginalised perspectives and aims to provide a breadth of representation from across the diversity of our community.

We also have a selection of resources in easy read, Spanish and French:

This collection was last updated in August 2023.

Latest News

For the latest news from around the world, see the Debrief library sections on climate crisis and disaster risk response.

Debrief Climate Reporting

What I've learned in conversation

Weaving together disability and climate justice
28 Feb 2024
Abstract illustration of colourful blooming flowers. Their stems are wiggly, almost like dancing figures.

I'd fight like hell for you

Julia Watts Belser on not giving up on each other in the climate crisis
07 Feb 2024
A watercolour portrait of Julia, a white woman with black hair, glasses, and a broad smile that reaches her eyes.

The weight of the issue

Showing up disabled in the climate movement
18 Oct 2023
Watercolour of stick figures of different colours, each interlinked with its neighbours.

A just transition for disabled people

A disability lens on greening economies and society
31 May 2023

Where disability and climate meet

Disabled wisdom and an invitation to community
04 Apr 2023
Illustration of an apocalyptic scene. A man with a ventilation tube sits in front of a factory, chimneys spewing pollution.

Can COP27 contribute to disability-inclusive climate justice?

Facing barriers at every turn, disabled people are fighting for their leadership to be recognised.
07 Nov 2022
Illustration of desert, with a thin river leading to a narrow horizon of dark sea and above that foreboding dark red clouds.

Disability in the Heat

Why authorities need to prioritise people at highest risk as temperatures rise
25 Jul 2022

"We can turn this around": Bristol's plan for a Green and Accessible Future

Plus: Floods in South Africa and systemic roots of climate breakdown
03 May 2022

Responses to climate change leaving disabled people behind

Plus: what I missed on Ukraine, and more from readers.
04 Apr 2022
A watercolour image of a flood scene: on land, a house with steps, the woman in the water holding a wheelchair.