The objective of this webinar is to provide insight into the multi-faceted nature of climate equity at international, national and local levels; the obstacles it presents to climate change mitigation and adaptation; and to offer solutions on how climate change can be tackled without exacerbating inequality.
The following are the themes to guide the discussion during the webinar:
- How to prevent climate policy aims from disproportionately affecting the poorest of society (e.g. fuel/carbon tax hikes).
- The difficulties developing countries face in accessing climate finance.
- Political barriers to climate equity, e.g. how do we achieve fair burden-sharing of emissions reductions given the voluntary nature of the Paris Agreement?
- How to deliver unpopular but necessary technological solutions for climate change mitnigation?
- Is climate equity a consideration in Integrated Assessment Models and IPCC scenarios?
- The desired discussion is not limited to the above points, but we hope that speakers can address one or more of these questions during the webinar.
The Paris Agreement ushered climate change into mainstream global political discourse. Consequently, debates have ensued on the technological and policy solutions that need to be implemented to meet the target set out within the Paris accord.
Many countries have enacted policies to further climate change mitigation, including carbon taxation and the provision of incentives to encourage investment in low-carbon energy sources. The Paris riots that ensued after the announcement of new green taxes, and Canadian provincial withdrawals from emissions reductions initiatives, are just two examples of backlashes to climate policy in the developed world.
The countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts are generally the least responsible for the problem. Additionally, the responsible countries have the greatest capacity to protect themselves from its impacts. Unmitigated climate change will therefore disproportionately disadvantage poorer regions and exacerbate equity challenges. Given the limited resources available in developing countries, achieving economic growth while addressing climate change will prove challenging.
Introduction by member of FEL — discuss what is climate equity and motivation for the webinar.
15-minute presentation by each of the four speakers.
Questions from the audience.
Dr David Reiner, Senior Lecturer in Technology Policy, University of Cambridge
Topic: 'How to deliver necessary but unpopular climate change mitigation solutions'
Dr Reiner is a political scientist and is currently University Senior Lecturer in Technology Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School. David has advised government, industry and non-governmental organisations on energy and environmental policy, with a particular emphasis on the politics of climate change and the social acceptability of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) and other energy technologies including smart meters and shale gas. He is frequently interviewed in national and international media including the BBC World Service, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.
David is also Assistant Director of the Energy Policy Research Group, and is a Research Associate of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research and the Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies Program, both at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He sits on the EPRG management committee and the steering committee of the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Programme's Social Research Network. He has provided both written and oral testimony before the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee on Energy and Climate Change and contributed to the World Economic Forum in Davos and Moscow. He is the recipient of research grants from the European Commission, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, Natural Environment Research Council and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Dr Stephen Humphreys, Associate Professor of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science
Topic: 'Are current international law and institutions able to deliver climate equity?'
Stephen Humphreys is an Associate Professor of International Law. He was formerly Research Director at the International Council on Human Rights Policy in Geneva, and, before that, Senior Officer at the Open Society Institute’s Justice Initiative in New York and Budapest. He has conducted policy work on climate change and in human rights in a variety of fora.
His research interests include international legal and critical theory; rule of law; law and development; climate change; the laws of war; and transnational legal processes. He holds a PhD from Cambridge and a Master’s degree in law from SOAS.
His publications include Theatre of the Rule of Law(Cambridge University Press, 2010) and the edited volume, Human Rights and Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
*Renee van Diemen, provides scientific support to the IPCC working group III on social impacts of mitigation
*Speaker to be confirmed
Topic: ‘How is climate equity a consideration in Integrated Assessment Models and IPCC scenarios?’
Renee van Diemen works as a Scientist at the Working Group III Technical Support Unit of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Working Group III covers the mitigation of climate change, i.e. methods for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and enhancing atmospheric sinks.
Renee supports the delivery of Working Group III's contribution to the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report. She also supports the delivery of IPCC Special Reports, particularly the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C, and the Special Report on Climate Change and Land.
Her research interests focus on energy innovation, policy and climate change mitigation. Recently, her work has focused on the use of patent metrics to measure low-carbon innovation. She also supervises MSc theses at Imperial College. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary research aimed at mitigating climate change.
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