Article on Convergence of Digital and Environmental Rights

Article in Hindu BusinessLine on the convergence of digital and climate justice. With increasing development-environment conflict, freedom of speech online will ensure environmental rights in a digital democracy. With environmental concerns and claims on the state being made on digital spaces, the road to climate justice is via ensuring digital rights.


Thank you for sharing this with us Saksham!

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The inspiration was our brief conversation on convergence of climate justice, labour rights and digital rights for universal justice :slight_smile: so thank you!

Thanks for sharing the article with us, Saksham. As you note, digital rights and environmental rights do intersect, and not often in a good way.

But allow me to ask you a direct question, how can a digital rights organisation group like IFF advance environmental rights within its mandate? I think climate change is no longer a secondary consideration, it must now be centred in every decision making process. So how can IFF centre climate change in its mandate? Your thoughts will be welcome


Thanks Tanmay for going through the article and your comments.

I’ll attempt to share a few thoughts. The first step could be towards actively building alliances with people/organisations with a shared vision of climate justice.

As such linkages are not obvious, advocacy campaigns could also highlight impact of each tech policy and digital governance on the environment. For instance, increasingly if India’s digital policies incentivise energy guzzling data centres within India, it would be worth understanding where their power is coming from and who is bearing the cost of externalities (pollution affect by ‘Not In My Backyard’?) – chances are high they would be the same affected by the digital divide. With an increasing interest in ESG disclosures, there could be interesting levers to engage with all stakeholders. Maybe similar to how Exxon lost board seats to climate conscious investors haha.

A recent study by Purdue gave evidence of high emissions of even hour long zoom usage. While we could address the question from a regulatory/provider facing angle, even from individual behaviours, simple knowledge/feedback on online habits and their links with environment can be useful. Especially when we find that people have intentions, but might face inertia through knowledge gaps or motivation to perform climate positive behaviours.

But these are just high-level/suggestive points and if anyone to deliberate on championing digital and environmental rights, I think only IFF and its members can. Apologies for making it a lengthy post but happy to connect more with you or anyone else interested to think through such convergences! In the meantime, also sharing this cartoon on the ISP blocks :).