t the core of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories is its theft of Palestinian natural resources, including land and water, which exacerbates the climate crisis. Palestine’s struggle is also a climate and environmental struggle and, for decades, Palestinian civil society organisations and their global partners have been fighting to achieve justice on these issues.Yet the climate crisis is progressing at a rate faster than many governing bodies around the world can handle and with Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestine, Palestinians are doubly unable to mitigate much of its effects.
But Palestine is unique for another reason. Its leadership, the Palestinian Authority (PA), has been complicit in obstructing real successes in climate and environmental justice.
That is, since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian struggle has been reduced to a state-building project that is doomed to fail so long as the status quo of military occupation and corrupt Palestinian leadership persist. Through its participation in the UN’s COP climate conferences and other international forums on climate change that promote collaboration between states, the PA continues to delink climate and environmental issues from Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, effectively depoliticising and normalising it.
True environmental justice, which would include restoring Palestinians’ rights to access to their natural resources by ending the Israeli occupation, is rarely addressed in these international forums and conventions. As a result, the fight for climate and environmental justice in Palestine continues to be funded by international donors who, along with the PA, seek to manage Israel’s climate apartheid rather than pushing Israel and its allies to end it.