Climate change
Social justice

3rd CLIMACT Seminar Series - Episode #13


Apr 24, 2023


10:00 - 11:15

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3rd CLIMACT Seminar Series - Episode #13

Climate Justice, Global Capitalism, Climate Finance

In a deeply unequal world, what is the meaning of the billions of Euros promised by wealthy nations to the poorer ones to address climate change? Do they build resilience and reduce emissions, or are they merely bargaining chips at U.N. negotiations? Are promises being met, and are meaningful efforts being funded in the areas needed by developing nations? Given the failure of global society to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases rapidly enough, what are the chances for compensation to nations suffering losses and damages from climate impacts?

Timmons Roberts, Professor of Environment and Society at Brown University in the U.S. and Director of the global Climate Social Science Network will review the history of promises of climate finance, and why it so starkly differs from the reality. He concludes with an assessment of the contributor countries' performance and some proposals of ways forward.

Timmons Roberts
Prof. Timmons Roberts

Brown University

Timmons Roberts is Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University and the Executive Director of the Climate Social Science Network. Timmons' current research focuses on social drivers of action and inaction on climate change. After fifteen years studying tensions between the global North and South at the United Nations climate negotiations, he has expanded his research into what explains the failure to address climate change in the United States. Current studies examine lobbying in state legislatures and influence over agencies and commissions.

Pivoting between politics of loss and science of hope in governing a just future for humanity

Climate justice is experiencing a renaissance in the context of large-scale loss and damage (economic and non-economic) amid growing vulnerability among people across all corners of the planet. Globally societies are now confronted with climate loss and damage compounded by existing social vulnerabilities and multiple crises. These risks are projected to continue into the future. There is no question that loss and damage is a complex agenda in terms of who is responsible and who pays for creating a safe and fair future under climate change. Loss is critically about the limits to adaptation and results in costs to societies both in terms of lost dollars and negative consequences for cultures from territory and cultural heritage loss for example resulting from sea level rise. By no means is it easy to define, measure or govern these limits, as the talk will demonstrate.

However, climate justice is also imbued with hope. Researchers demonstrate resurgence of ideals on redistribution of resources, fair procedures, and recognition of rights by mechanisms of inclusion and accountability. Climate justice also introduces hope through new (if not complex) ideas on compensation, degrowth, and vulnerability as an opportunity for just transformations.

Emily Boyd
Prof. Emily Boyd

Lund University

Emily Boyd is Director of Lund University Centre for Sustainaibility Studies and Professor in Sustainability Science. She is a leading social scientist with a background in international development, environment and climate change, with focus on the interdisciplinary nexus of poverty, livelihoods and resilience in relation to global environmental change. Emily Boyd is currently leading work on undesirable resilience, politics of loss and damage and intersectionality in societal transitions.

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