A multidisciplinary conference examining the barriers to responding to climate change, implementing climate justice, and proposing ways forward.
8-10 February 2018
The University of Tasmania, with support of its Faculty of Law, the University of Utrecht Ethics Institute, the University of Tasmania's Institute for the Study of Social Change, the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Science (IMAS).
Despite the Paris Agreement, there are real concerns the prevailing neoliberal economic and political model, particularly with the move to more insular, nationalistic, fragile politics, cannot respond effectively to climate change and excludes key considerations such as ethics and justice.
The Conference will focus on a systematic analysis of barriers to action in the context of the process of change; global governance and law; economics and energy structures; the role of science and technology; and what we are learning about human psychology in relation to climate change.
It will look at ethics, climate justice, intergenerational justice, and how abstract notions of climate justice can be translated into concrete policies, governance structures, and laws. Case studies will include ethical issues in the ongoing international climate negotiations and areas of Australian policy-making with international ramifications (e.g. the “clean coal” debate.)
It will also explore the engagement by artists, writers, filmmakers, and musicians with climate change and activism and will include side events with practitioners, activists and theorists.
The conference is envisaged to involve about 30 paper givers and 150-200 participants. There will be a number of public forums and side events associated with Conference.
Presenters include: Robyn Eckersley, Steve Vanderheiden, Catriona McKinnon, Marcus Düwell, Sivan Kartha, Nathan Bindoff, Ben Richardson and Jan McDonald.
Outputs & objectives
The Conference is part of a project to raise the profile of issues of ethics and justice in relation to climate change and create a network of thinkers and researchers in the area. A Southern Hemispheric connection with a focus on regional as well as global concerns could have a significant impact on the public policy debate, as well as the profile of these issues. It will be a catalyst for links to a broad range of concerned scientists, philosophers, lawyers, economists and strategists to share information and develop collaborations. Dissemination of ideas and dialogue is a key goal, along with publication of papers online and in journal or book form.
Tasmania is the ideal location for this conference, with its long history of conservation expertise and environmentalism, the largest concentration of climate scientists and Antarctic researchers in the Southern Hemisphere, and a particularly vibrant and engaged arts community. In 2016, the first recording of 400ppm at Cape Grim demonstrated the urgency of the climate challenge, but the implications are not understood outside the scientific community. Nearly one third of Tasmania is world heritage area protected under a global convention that explicitly embodies notions of intergenerational justice. Hobart is the perfect city to bring people together to discuss this important subject with its beautiful setting, great venues and food, as well as easy access to national parks, walks, and MONA. The Conference will acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land and the contemporary Tasmanian Aboriginal community.
The Conference will follow a sustainable, no or low carbon model, to be reflected in catering, printing and other aspects of Conference Management. Participants flying to Hobart are asked use a reputable carbon offset provider.