How to do Justice to Each Other? Reconfiguring the Notion of Justice in Climate Change Discourse.


Karin Hutflotz (Munich School of Philosophy) addressed How to do Justice to Each Other? Reconfiguring the Notion of Justice in Climate Change Discourse. To do justice to each other, people must work towards an intersubjective concept of justice. Currently notions of climate justice are often based on the idea of debtors and creditors. It is extremely difficult to determine who is the debtor in climate change issues, and yet people still hold on to this idea. It is difficult or even impossible to figure out costs, now or in the future. Additionally, justice is often described as abstract concepts and does not take into account social reality. Therefore, an intersubjective concept of justice should be worked towards. To work towards an intersubjective concept of justice, people could employ a 3-step program that involves sharing experiences, learning to listen to others, and asking fundamental questions in groups of high diversity, whilst meeting as equals. This would give everyone the opportunity to be a part of the discussion and hear all viewpoints. When working towards an intersubjective concept of justice, conflicts could be used as a resource. This could be the main resource of understanding and community building, and it would force people to focus on real values, and a common ground for basic human rights. It would not be necessary for people to agree on details or the content of values, but it is necessary to have a task or problem in common, to pursue a common goal, and to recognise people as equals and individuals at the same time. This is an ongoing recognition process.


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.