The Black Climate Mandate
The Climate Crisis is NOW. So we start here, at this moment in our collective human history that cannot be denied, silenced, or forgotten. Extreme weather events are the new normal for the world and directly impact Black communities the most. Our planet’s climate is experiencing human-accelerated change that threatens all life on Earth. It threatens our physical health, mental health, air, quality, water access, food systems, and shelter, and is destroying the land that feeds our communities. Climate change impacts us all, but it affects some of us much more than others.Read More
Health is a human right. Black people continue to die because we can’t breathe—our breath is snuffed out by racist systems and police, and our air is polluted by corporations and the politicians who line their pockets with profit. From over-policing to food apartheid; from toxic air, water, and soil, to the intentional targeting and devaluing of Black communities—all of this must stop. No longer will we tolerate sacrificing Black lives and well-being for white profit and comfort.Read More
Free the land. Land is tied to our existence, dignity, and the survival of Black communities. Land provides Black communities with nourishment, housing, and healing. As a reparative measure, Black-owned land is a legacy taken in tandem with our stolen labor and hundreds of years of skilled, caring, and successful stewardship. Land determines the destinies of our communities—and our right to access and steward unspoiled, untainted, and restored land sets the conditions for all other access rights.Read More
Water is life. And yet, it is arguably the most controversial issue surrounding the global impact of climate on Black lives. As the planet warms, sea levels are rising—resulting in disappearing land and a loss of our ability to grow enough food. And while some places are dealing with too much water, others are experiencing drought conditions, while still others do not have access to clean or safe water.Read More
Energy is essential. Specifically, energy that is renewable, reliable, affordable, and universally accessible. We affirm that water, health, human dignity, and the ability to engage in meaningful work are all interconnected with energy in modern life. We urgently need energy justice that empowers self-sufficiency for communities and relies on non-extractive energy sources. Oil, gas, coal, and other forms of extractive energy have caused unmitigated harm to our communities around the world.Read More
No human is replaceable. The U.S. economy was built on the unpaid, enslaved, and forced labor of Black people. The globalized economic system is rooted in the exploitation of labor from the Global Black Diaspora, and has only benefited the white and wealthy few. No human is replaceable. Constant productivity is not sustainable for any worker, nor for the planet. An economy built on care and sustainability means prioritizing health, rest, joy, and purpose for all workers—and it means rejecting extractivism, and slave and manual labor, which harm our bodies, mental health, and communities.Read More
Black people demand a just transition. The underlying philosophy of the global economic system is extraction and exploitation in pursuit of profit. This includes the kidnapping and enslavement of Black people from Africa, and hundreds of years of our unpaid labor, as well as rampant colonialism and postcolonial capitalism. The U.S. is also founded on the exploitation of immigrant labor—a practice that our global economy still depends on today. The U.S. and Global North are responsible for building a system that violently takes and makes profit for the few, without repair, reparations, or support in healing from these atrocities for the many. This system has pushed us into a global climate emergency that presents immense challenges that our generation must solve.Read More
All power to the people. The idea of a fair and just government is a vision that has never been a reality, least of all for Black people across the Global Black Diaspora. Although we are told the government was designed to represent and protect its citizens, Black people experience the opposite far too often. This is especially true when it comes to addressing the climate crisis. In order to meet the urgency of the climate crisis, we need an equitable system that prioritizes our civil, environmental, and human rights. This includes the right to civic space, community ownership, and civil disobedience.Read More
We stand in solidarity with the Global Black Diaspora. In this fight for climate and environmental justice, we are in a position to address the climate crisis internationally—to work together, undoing the damage done to our communities by colonialists and corporations. The climate crisis knows no borders and continues to have devastating and deadly impacts. Lackluster white-led NGO efforts at climate mitigation have sent the world on a trajectory for an extinction-level event. As global Black communities, we have been land stewards for millennia. We are calling for solutions that include rematriation; open borders for climate migration; reparations; and bringing an end to false, technocratic solutions that rely on markets and profit rather than community agency and stewardship.Read More
This is our Black Climate Mandate, a document we built to protect not only Black communities, but all communities in the U.S. and throughout the Global Black Diaspora. It outlines the urgency and need for us to take action before we are locked into 1.5℃ climate change and its devastating and deadly impacts. Our mandate calls for dismantling the status quo, providing climate reparations, and investing NGO and government resources in transformative climate-change strategies that protect and defend all Black lives.
The Black Hive’s work focuses on the following areas: water, energy, land, labor, economy/reparations, democracy, health, and Global Black Diasporic solidarity—and investing in equitable climate solutions and alternatives that center on the concerns of Black communities in defending against the climate crisis.
Our Black Climate Mandate is broken down into nine sections. Each section explores the crisis we all face and includes a list of demands that center all Black lives.
Note: This document, content and demands are a work in progress, and we will amend as we need and see fit, particularly as political sands shift and the needs of Black people and communities change in the face of the climate crisis.