This discussion brief aims to provide insights into ways that individual researchers can aim to shift rather than reinforce unequal power relations in climate and environment research that disadvantage marginalized communities and the Global South. It seeks to launch wider discussions and actions on the subject to rectify colonial-era legacies that continue to affect power dynamics, detrimentally skewing research and its uptake.
The authors focus on climate change research, but the ideas put forward apply to scientific practices on other subjects. The authors draw on the longstanding literature on decolonialism to discuss how power dynamics affect research practices. They draw on aspects of knowledge co-production processes to present practical ways that researchers can challenge existing practices in the design and implementation of projects, and in the dissemination of findings.