A global human rights organisation for sexual and gender minorities
Report. Inform. Defend.
'Green in the Rainbow' Project - Final Report
Throughout 2022 we undertook a research project examining the impacts of the climate emergency on sexual and gender minorities, looking in detail at the ways in which their marginalisation makes them vulnerable to climate change.
Thanks to funding from the National Lottery: Together for Our Planet Initiative, ReportOUT are ReportOUT are excited to publish our report on this issue, A Crisis of Queer Invisibility: Climate Change as a Risk Multiplier for LGBTQ People
We were motivated to undertake this project having noticed that a consideration of the impact of climate change on LGBTQI+ people is largely absent in mainstream climate discourse.
The aim of the project was therefore to:
draw some attention to this issue
by examining the extent to which climate change creates specific and heightened harms for sexual and gender minorities.
Climate discourse has increasingly accepted that certain groups of people are more greatly affected by the climate crisis due to their position in society. We believe that sexual and gender minorities, as one of the most marginalised groups of people, are therefore likely to be severely impacted by the climate emergency.
Why the climate emergency?
In its Fifth Assessment Report (2014), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,300 independent scientific experts from countries all over the world, under the auspices of the United Nations, concluded that there is a more than a 95% probability that human activities over the past 50 years have warmed our planet. The devasting effects of the climate emergency are already being felt, and it is clear that without significant action, climate change will have an increasingly catastrophic impact in the coming years.
Whilst we are all affected as humans by the climate emergency, we do know that some groups
in society are affected by climate change much more than others. It is becoming very clear that
marginalised groups, such as sexual and gender minorities, are more likely to be affected by
the impacts of the climate emergency.
Thorough review of existing literature on this topic - It quickly became clear that there is little existing material on the issue of LGBTQI+ climate vulnerability.
Broadened out the review to literature - Including the impacts of climate change generally, the marginalisation of LGBTQI+ people, and the failures of state response to crises.
Creating a picture of the types of harms that sexual and gender minorities may face, why these harms may be heightened due to societal marginalisation, and the position of state mechanisms to adequately respond to the needs of LGBTQI+ people.
Original research - an online survey of self-identifying LGBTQI+ people across the world. This survey aimed to understand the extent to which LGBTQI+ people are
aware of the impacts of climate change,
the extent that they have experienced these impacts in their lives,
and what actions they feel should be taken to better protect sexual and gender minorities from these harms.
Our research endorses the concept of climate change as a ‘risk multiplier’. This is the idea that existing vulnerabilities interact with the harms caused by the climate crisis, creating new and heightened harms for LGBTQI+ people.
The report documents some of the key drivers of LGBTQI+ marginalisation globally, including criminalisation and discrimination, and considered how they interact with the recorded human impacts of the climate crisis to create heightened risks. The responses to our survey were interwoven into this analysis to demonstrate the present and anticipated ways in which the crisis is manifesting in the lives of LGBTQI+ people.
The report also considered various examples of state failures to address the needs of sexual and gender minorities in crises situations, which compounds the harms that LGBTQI+ people face.
Decriminalise LGBTQ identities through the removal of laws prohibiting same-sex activity and gender expression
and the equalisation of ages of consent
Provide funding for LGBTQ community projects, centres, and networks to strengthen community ties and reduce
Adopt queer-inclusive disaster preparation policies by engaging with LGBTQ people to understand needs, legislate
to require emergency response plans to consider impacts on LGBTQ people.
We believe that we must engage with the climate emergency, now more than ever, to help meet Goal 13: Climate Action, of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. You can read about what our new Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Champions are doing at ReportOUT by clicking here
Our key recommendations include a list of actions to:
address LGBTQ marginalisation
address specific LGBTQ climate risk factors
improve state crisis management
raise awareness, expertise, and resilience