Climate Justice: Beyond Burden Sharing

Steve Vanderheiden, University of Colorado at Boulder

Steve Vanderheiden addressed climate justice by refocusing and moving beyond his previous work on the evolution of the concept of burden sharing, to include future oriented and speculative ideas of the relationship between justice and democracy. Justice and democracy have primacy at different stages of climate policy, that is, at the level of international decision-making and national implementation, respectively. Justice and democracy, however, rarely meet. There should be a normative, rather than merely empirical reconciliation between these two concepts. Both input (procedural) and output (substantive) justice involves the same set of normative commitments. They are not distinct in application or scope but apply in a symbiotic way, adherence to which may bind democratic institutions by equity commitments, where equity is constituted democratically. There is need for experimental research into equity outcomes from different democratic forms.

This talk was held at:

Imagining a Different Future

Climate Justice Conference

The University of Tasmania with the support of the University of Utrecht Ethics Institute hosted a multidisciplinary conference examining the barriers to responding to climate change, implementing climate justice, and proposing ways forward. Among the keynote speakers were Law Faculty Professors Jan McDonald and Ben Richardson. The Law Faculty's Dr Peter Lawrence co-convened the conference with Jan Linehan. The conference took place in Hobart from 8-9 Feb 2018.

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. Videos and Podcasts from the conference are available on the Knowledge Hub.