Yessenia Funes
Journalist Covering Climate and Environmental Justice

The frontlines typically refer to a war zone—those who jump first toward conflict. In the era of climate change, the meaning of frontlines has evolved.

We're still talking about a war zone, but it's a war zone people can't escape from. It's a war zone they're thrown into despite their wishes. This word refers to those who live next door to fossil fuel polluters such as oil and gas refineries. It refers to the countless communities across the globe already experiencing extreme weather supercharged by a hotter planet. The word seeks to amplify the experiences of the people who did little to create the climate crisis because they don't consume enough energy or resources to emit a significant amount of greenhouse gasses.

These are the people who sit on the frontlines as they begin to feel the impacts of climate change first and worst despite being nothing but innocent bystanders in its creation. The frontlines are where action builds. They are where the community lies. The frontlines are where the people are the strongest.

Pamela EA Frontlines

A cyclone-ravaged shoreline displays the wreckage of a broken tree, balancing over the rocky edge, symbolizing the destructive power of natural disasters exacerbated by climate change—a metaphor for damaged and resilient frontline communities.
Photography By Pamela EA