Democracy and Climate Justice: Never the Twain Shall Meet?

Robyn Eckersley, University of Melbourne

Robyn Eckersley discussed how to win political legitimacy for climate justice in the face of pluralism, and whether there is a fundamental tension between democracy, and achieving the collective and mutually beneficial goal of climate justice. Eckersley argued that we do not have to accept an inevitable clash between democracy and climate justice, but that justice as a normative principle is integral to democracy. Further, there is a need to engage citizens, explore new political connections, and draw linkages between looming climate disaster, and problems that are real and ongoing in democracies today.

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.