Gender and Sexual Minorities: The Invisible Victims of Climate Change
Author: Emma Felisi
Human Rights Researcher at ReportOUT
The life-altering consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly clear, with increasingly changing and extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels leaving cities such as Jakarta, Lagos and Venice sinking and flooded, being forced to come up with local solutions to a global problem. Global summits such as the yearly COP meetings and the recent G7 leaders’ summit in Cornwall continue to set lofty goals for the individual nations’ expected efforts to help alleviate the climate emergency, but despite this, the global temperature keeps rising exponentially with an average increase of 0.18 C per decade since 1981.
Although the consequences of climate change have global reach, the effects are not equally divided. It is well-documented that marginalised people will suffer the most from the consequences of climate change. Sexual and gender minorities are one of these marginalised groups. The vulnerabilities that come with being a sexual or gender minority, such as social exclusion and stigma, violence, discrimination, hate crimes and general social vulnerability, are only enhanced due to the effects of climate change, including limited access to social services, healthcare services, education and infrastructure.