Climate Crisis and Environment

This page features disability news on Climate Crisis and Environment from the Debrief Library. See also news on other subjects.



On the Debrief: Where disability and climate meet. Disabled wisdom and an invitation to community. (Apr, Disability Debrief)

Nothing about us without us: The urgent need for disability-inclusive climate research. (Mar, Plos Climate)

The role of the scientific community in strengthening disability-inclusive climate resilience. “We discuss how the scientific community could advance and hasten the development of disability-inclusive climate resilience, and which areas should be prioritized.” (Jan, Nature Climate Change) See also a blog summarising the comment (HPOD).

An issue on Mental Health & Climate Justice including research on women with psychosocial disabilities in intersecting disasters and climate change. (Dec, Mariwala Health Initiative Journal)

Illegalized Bodies: Addressing Disabled Vulnerabilities and Adaptation to Climate Change based on case studies from the US and Philippines. (Dec, Towson University Journal of International Affairs)

The CRPD and Climate Action. Links between the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Climate Change. (Nov, Gerard Quinn)

A status report updating the review of Disability Rights in National Climate Policies. (Link to PDF, Nov, IDA)

Global Impact of Climate Change on Persons with Albinism: A Human Rights Issue. (Jan, Journal of Climate Change and Health)

Missing in Climate Action Stories of persons with disabilities from the Global South combined with exploration of ableism and environmental justice.

Leave No One Behind a report on people with disabilities and older people in climate-related disasters. An overview of recent evidence and experiences directly from disabled people themselves. (Nov, Human Rights Watch)

Can COP27 contribute to disability-inclusive climate justice? (Nov, Disability Debrief)

Disability Debrief compilation of resources on climate change and disability lovingly put together by Áine. (Nov)

How climate change affects mental health highlighting dimensions of concern. (Nov, Wellcome)

A policy brief on realizing disability rights through a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies (Nov, ILO)

Cripping Climate Activism piece with beautiful illustrations on advocating at the intersections of disability, gender and climate. (Oct, Women Enabled International)

Climate policy and activism need to make space for disabled people. (Oct, BMJ)

The Barriers and Enablers of persons with disabilities as climate change agents. Based on research in Bangladesh and Madagascar:

“Persons with disabilities have knowledge and ideas which stem from their every-day life experiences dealing with risk and social and structural barriers creating problem-solving skills invaluable in the fight against climate change. Furthermore, persons with disabilities are clearly highly impacted by climate change and have experiences and perspectives which may contribute valuable insight in mainstream climate discourses.” (Sep, LUP Student Papers)

Interview with Pauline Castres on importance of climate policy, justice and activism for people with disabilities. (Sep, WID)

Global Disability Justice In Climate Disasters: Mobilizing People With Disabilities As Change Agents (Oct, Health Affairs)

Climate change disasters are a disability rights issue. (Sep, Yahoo)

Disability Debrief feature: Disability in the Heat Why authorities need to prioritise people at highest risk as temperatures rise
(Jul, Disability Debrief)

Environmental Justice inclusive of disability animated videos telling the story through a character called Sofía. (in Spanish, ONG Inclusiva) Also available with English subtitles.

Report on Disability Inclusion in National Climate Commitments and Policies The 2015 Paris Agreement calls on countries to outline the measures they will take to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. Fewer than one in four countries make references to persons with disabilities in these plans, and where they do, it is often cursory. (Jun, IDA and McGill) See also coverage on the Guardian.

A briefing note for the Bonn Climate Conference 2022 on integrating human rights to climate action. (Jun, Human Rights and Climate Change Working Group)

Resource Page on Connections Between Climate Change and Disability (Disability & Philanthropy Forum)

See previously on the Debrief, Responses to climate change leaving disabled people behind on the IPCC report and recent floods in Australia. (Apr, Disability Debrief)

What I wish non-disabled people understood about disability and plastic. An illustrated coming showing “disabled people often suffer most from plastic pollution, but many also rely on plastic products for health, independence and dignity.” (Mar, Greenpeace)

Climate and sport: Paralympic champion Tatyana McFadden explains the link. (Apr, UN)

A policy paper on Locating disability inclusion in action on climate change with advice targeted to the UK government to make their climate action disability-inclusive. (Mar, CBM UK)

A feature exploring the link between disability and sustainability particularly from the view of the private sector. (Mar, Valuable 500)

On the IPCC report: Scant mention of disabled community, despite higher risk of climate change impact. (Mar, Stuff)

The missing conversation about disabled leadership in climate justice. "Disabled people are expert adapters – we spend our lives figuring out how to live and thrive in a world which was not designed for us." (Mar, Stuff)

The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. "Across sectors and regions the most vulnerable people and systems are observed to be disproportionately affected. " Recommends that inclusive governance address vulnerabilities and inequalities related to disability. (March, IPCC)

The Sangyan's posts on climate change include reflections on Climate Change, Disability, and the Capability Approach and the displacement of people with disabilities as climate refugees. (Mar, Sangyan)

Disability and Climate Justice an overview of the current situation and recommendations to take forward (link to pdf, Dec, Open Society Foundations)

Policy Brief on the decade of healthy ageing in a climate-changing world (Jan, Decade of Healthy Ageing)

Environmental Justice and Disability with Pauline Castres - YouTube a nice conversation covering key issues and reflecting on COP. (Dec, Judy Heumann)

What is Climate resilient inclusive design and why do we need it? Global Disability Innovation Hub at COP26 (Nov, GDI)


Eco-ableism? Banning Straws’ Impact on Disabled People. “This month, Victoria became the latest Australian state to ban single-use plastics, including straws. While this is a win for the environment and marine life, it will come at a price for social inclusion.” (Feb, Mirage)


Lessons from the Historic 2022 Flooding In Bangladesh. (Sep, HPOD)

Data & evidence missing on the impact of climate change on persons with disabilities. “No data on how persons with disabilities have been affected by the flooding, persons with disabilities are scattered in this area and even getting cash support to these persons takes a bit of time. There are not so many OPDs to support them either.” (Jul, CBM Global)


Disability rights don’t have to clash with environmental responsibility (Jul, the Conversation)

One Year Since Deadly Heatwave Protections Still Needed: 600 people died due to extreme heat in the summer of 2021, 91% of whom were 60 or older. (May, Human Rights Watch)


The inclusion of persons with disabilities in the climate change discourse. Highlighting cases of persons with disabilities affected by climate change in this small island developing state. (Nov, Dominica News Online)


The invisible children in climate crisis. “As drought worsens in the Horn of Africa, children with a disability bear the heaviest burden” (Mar, UNICEF)


Heatwaves Disastrous for Older People, People with Disabilities. (Aug, Human Rights Watch)

Joint Statement on the Social Climate Fund the fund “must be a transformative instrument tackling structural injustices” (Mar, EDF)


Climate Change Is A Double Blow For People With Disabilities (Aug, Health Policy Watch)

Interview with Alice Abraham, a young woman from Kerala “regarding the impact of climate change on her life and her disability.” (Jul, The Sangyan)

An ICT4 Inclusion Challenge on mitigating the impact of climate change on people with disabilities (May, ICT 4 Inclusion Challenge)


Climate actions must not undermine rights of people with disabilities, committee warned. (Mar, The Irish Times)


Climate Change and its Humanitarian Consequences: the impact on persons with disabilities in Southern Madagascar. (Aug, CBM Global)


A case study on Nepal’s changing climate and its impact on communities including persons with disabilities “I have never seen anything
like that in my whole life. The whole earth was shaking. Other people went
uphill as the flood started to rise. Later, I went up with the support of my
son-in-law too. I came here looking for better access to the market and
other facilities. But I lost everything. I am an old man with a physical
disability, it is very difficult for me now” (Jul, CBM Global)


Podcast with Sainimili Tawake who works as inclusive development advisor for the Pacific Disability Forum. (No transcript, Dec, UNDP)

Disability and Climate change Findings discussions with disabled people in Kiribati, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

“Many of the impacts highlighted in this report relate to exclusionary practices that already exist. This ranges from discrimination within the household to exclusion from policy formation and policy implementation. For example, persons with disabilities may not be prioritised when a household is experiencing a shortage of food or water. Similarly, persons with disabilities are often not considered in disaster risk management, such as the design of evacuation procedures and evacuation shelters. Without concerted action, the impact of exclusion on persons with disabilities will become worse under climate change.”

“Climate change is also introducing new risks; for example, by forcing a change in agricultural and fishing practices. On the one hand, persons with disabilities already experience barriers to engage in farming and fishing, with many reliant on marginal or subsistence agriculture. Most agricultural produce is consumed within the household, with limited surplus sold at market. Falling yields from farming and home gardens further impact on food security and incomes. Persons with disabilities who have been able to overcome barriers and farm or work on small plantations are facing new barriers. As reported, farmers with disabilities may not be in a position to relocate their plantations and/or travel to more remote locations to farm. Similarly, new offshore fishing practices are creating new barriers to entry for persons with disabilities.” (link to pdf, Aug, Pacific Disability Forum)

Solomon Islands

How People with Disabilities Face Climate Change in Solomon Islands: "Every high tide is right at my doorstep every time I wake up. That keeps me wondering if soon, we are going to sink in the sea with no option,” (May, Solomon Times)

South Africa

How load shedding impacts people living with disabilities (Jun)

United Kingdom

Disabled People Must Not Pay The Price For Clean Air (Aug, Bristol Disability Equality Forum)

The people making a difference: profile of a climate activist: “a heavy wheelchair is handy for wrongfooting the police”. (Sep, the Guardian)

Protest for All a guide for climate change groups on making their protests accessible for disabled people. (link to pdf, Sep, Bristol Disability Equality Forum)

‘There’s no support for us at all’: The realities of caring for a disabled child during a heatwave. (Jul, Big Issue)

Disability and the heatwave: Cooling solutions and disability as weather alert goes red (Jul, BBC)

City’s co-produced climate action plan ‘is a world first’
featuring Bristol's climate plan, which we also covered on the debrief (Jul, Disability News Service)

Glasgow disabled facing hostility for car use “Disabled people are facing "climate-change themed" hostility and aggression for using cars, according to a charity.” (May, The Herald)

A new Community Climate Action Plan in Bristol (Mar, Bristol DEF)

Up to the Challenge report examining the National Disability Strategy and how it addresses climate change. "Disabled people across the country are excluded from the important work to tackle climate change." (Feb, Oxford)

For disabled environmentalists discrimination and exclusion are a daily reality (Jan, Greenpeace)

United States

Climate change efforts won’t work if they exclude people with disabilities. “Ultimately, disability-inclusive approaches to climate action increase the safety, flexibility and accessibility of climate solutions for society as a whole.” (Jan, Spokesman-Review)

Poet and Activist Naomi Ortiz Talks About Ecojustice and Self Care: “Ecojustice to me is how we can live and balance the best we can and honor the fact that we have different needs.” (Aug, WNYC Studios)

It’s not just heat stroke. Extreme temperatures pose special risk to people with chronic illness (Jul, Statnews)

Where Food Sustainability and Disability Clash “Services like grocery and meal delivery are generally not environmentally or worker-friendly, using lots of single-use plastic and relying on underpaid gig workers. But they’re often the safest and most accessible avenues for disabled and chronically ill people.” (Jun, FoodPrint)

Ageing and the Climate Crisis aging (Jun, ASA Generations)

In best of times, New Orleans is hard on people with disabilities. In hurricanes, it's deadly. (Jun, Nola)

Severe weather can mean life or death for people with disabilities. (May, Fox9)

Climate change is forcing care workers to act as first responders. “A new pilot program in California aims to provide the training and resources they need to take care of their clients and themselves. But advocates say increased responsibility should equal more pay.” (May, 19th News)

Ensuring the Safety of People With Disabilities During Climate Change (Apr, Santa Clara University)

COP 27


Why is disability still waiting for real progress on inclusive climate action? 5 takeaways from COP27. (Jan, Bond)

What has been done and what can still be done. Increasing participation albeit significant access challenges remain. (Dec, EDF)

How people with disabilities fought for formal recognition at COP27: “We’re still just trying to get on the agenda”. (Nov, Grist)

People With Disabilities Raise Voices at Climate Talks (Nov, AP News)