The effects of climate change - be it storms, flooding or rising of the sea levels along with the resulting environmental crises- have a strong impact on humanity which raises the question of how to handle the consequences appropriately. A relatively small and wealthy part of the global population claims an ever-increasing share of the planet’s resources while polluting and destructing marine and terrestrial habitats. Especially negatively affected by these developments are those groups that are least responsible for them.
How can a fair handling of the consequences caused by climate change or the exploitation of resources be achieved? Which concepts for environmental justice are there? And which political practices could take effect internationally to create opportunities for participation of economically weaker countries?
From June 6th to June 8th more than 60 international experts and researchers in the field of geography, social and political science, as well as legal studies and environmental ethics take part in the workshop “Narratives and Practices of Environmental Justice” at Kiel University to discuss issues regarding the complex topic of environmental justice. The two-day-long event is hosted and organized by the Institute of Geography at Kiel University and is supported by Kiel Marine Science (KMS) as well as the Heidehof foundation.
“The aim is to promote the exchange between science and society on questions regarding environmental justice,” organiser Silja Klepp, professor for Social Dynamics in Coastal- and Ocean areas at Kiel University and Member of the research focus KMS. Based on previous research, the workshop focuses on narratives and practices of climate (in)justice. The topic is supposed to be further discussed on a scientific and societal level as well as to make a connection between social debates and environmental issues and to overcome disciplinary, one-dimensional perspectives. Also, the workshop kicks off the new Kiel-based network for environmental justice “Enjust – Network for Environmental Justice” which will be founded on June 8th to provide a common ground for science, politics and society.
On June 6th at 2 pm, during a public workshop session, Professor Gordon Walker of the University Lancaster will give a keynote talk about environmental justice. The British scientist and head of DEMAND Centre (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand) does research on social and normative dimensions of environment, sustainability as well as the involved risk matters. Also, on June 6th at 7 pm, Hamburg-based photographer Barbara Dombrowski will open her exhibition with a photo installation on environmental justice in Kiribati, Oceania. The pictures are part of her work called “Tropic Ice – Dialog between Places Affected by Climate Change” in which she raises awareness for climate change, climate change adaptation and its consequences on five continents. The pictures presented in the exhibition in Kiel will display a journey to Oceania for the first time. The documentation of Kiribati is closely tied to Silja Klepp’s research there. The exhibition “Klimagerechtigkeit” (climate justice) will be there until June 28th in the foyer of the science center (Wissenschaftspark).
On Friday, June 7th, at 7 pm Roda Verheyen (lawyer and climate activist, Hamburg), Steffen Regis (The Green Party Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel), Daniel Morchain (International Institute for Sustainable Development, Winnipeg), Gunnar Maus (Regional planning Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel) and Jean Carlo Rodriguez de Fransisco (German Institute for Development, Bonn) will discuss different courses of action for a socio-ecological transformation. The talk is hosted by Professor Florian Dünckmann of the Institute of Geography at Kiel University.
Those who are interested are very welcome to join the open events held in English.