Blog: Attribution, Responsibility and Disaster Displacement

Author: Jamie Draper (j.r.g.draper@pgr.reading.ac.uk), Leverhulme Doctoral Scholar in Climate Justice This blog post was originally published on the Walker Institute's community pages. Attribution, Responsibility and Disaster Displacement Extreme weather events are likely to become both more frequent and more severe as climate change advances. Sudden-onset disasters, such as flooding, mudslides, and windstorms can trigger human displacement, and there has been an increased interest recently in the ways in which climate change may impact upon patterns of disaster displacement. Programmes such as the Nansen Initiative (now the Platform on Disaster Displacement) have been set up to address disaster displacement in the context of climate change. The ‘Zero Draft’ of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)’s Global Compact on Migration and Refugees, which is currently under negotiation, stresses the need to “address migration movements and trajectories of persons affected by sudden-onset natural hazards … including the adverse effects of climate change.” At the same time, developments in the new science of ‘probabilistic event attribution’ are making...
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Blog: Why Procedural Fairness Matters in the IPCC

Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, Associate Director of the Centre for Climate and Justice, has written a blog post on why procedural fairness matters in the IPCC. The original post is available at the Walker Institute website, here. Professor Okereke will be a coordinating lead authors for Working Group III in the IPCC's 6th Assessment Report. Read more about his appointment here. Why Procedural Fairness Matters in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) As a body whose primary role is to assess the latest scientific evidence on climate change, many well-meaning people suppose that questions of justice and fairness are not applicable to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “Why talk about procedural justice,” some had queried, “when the mandate and emphasis are on gathering and reviewing the best scientific evidence, and when the IPCC only publishes reports and does no governing by itself”? Surely the emphasis should not be on justice with its high and rigid moral connotation but...
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Reading researchers strongly represented in the next IPCC report

The University of Reading is the most represented institution globally in the first working group of authors chosen to produce the next world-leading climate change report. Chukwumerijes Okereke, Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science and an Associate Director of the Reading Centre for Climate and Justice, will be a coordinating lead author for Working Group III. The 226 authors in this group will assess options for reducing the rate at which climate change is taking place. Professor Okereke is also an Associate Director of the Reading Centre for Climate and Justice. Professor Okereke said: “The IPCC reports play a crucial role in guiding world's governments on the range of actions needed to combat global climate change. I am delighted to have been selected to play a leading role in the next round of the global assessment and I look forward to working with colleagues from around the world to produce a comprehensive and robust scientific assessment in 2022.” Six Reading researchers in the Department of Meteorology have also been named as lead...
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Call for Papers: Climate Change Mitigation and Imperfect Duties

MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory Monday 10 September to Wednesday 12 September 2018, University of Manchester, UK “Climate change mitigation and imperfect duties” http://www.mancept.com/mancept-workshops/mancept-workshops-2018-3/panels-a-e/climate-change-mitigation-and-imperfect-duties/ Convenors: Adam Pearce and Livia Luzzatto (University of Reading) Workshop Abstract When assessing responsibility for climate change scholars are increasingly convinced by holding collectives responsible as individuals make no perceptible contribution to the problem (Broome 2012 is a notable exception). Collectives, both ‘structured’ (e.g. high-emitting states) and ‘unstructured’ (e.g. the global rich), are primarily identified as responsible. When responsibility resides at the collective level, corresponding individual duties are primarily to encourage the collective to act (Cripps 2011; 2013). ‘Mimicking’ duties to reduce one’s own emission are less demanding and far less important. This harmony with common understandings of causation and responsibility is purchased at the cost of vague or imperfect obligations. We must petition the collective to act, but how does one do this? What actions fulfil this duty? Signing a letter? Marching? Civil disobedience? Am I obliged to do the empirically...
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Stephen Gardiner to be a Leverhulme Visiting Professor

We are delighted to report that Professor Stephen Gardiner (University of Washington) will be a visiting Professor at the Reading Centre for Climate and Justice in 2019 and 2020. Professor Gardiner will make two six week long visits to the University of Reading, twelve months apart. A grant from the Leverhulme Trust will enable Professor Catriona McKinnon and Professor Gardiner to collaborate on projects focused on the ethics of Solar Radiation Management (SRM). SRM is a form of geoengineering which is defined by the Royal Society as ‘the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment to counteract anthropogenic climate change’. SRM techniques tackle the warming effects of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the extent to which the Earth absorbs solar radiation, thus cooling the planet. There are a variety of SRM techniques on the table at present: placing massive mirrors in space to reflect the sun’s rays away from Earth; increasing the albedo of the planet by painting roofs and other structures...
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Gillian Lobo joins the Advisory Board

We are delighted to announce that Gillian Lobo has joined the advisory board of the Reading Centre for Climate and Justice. Gillian is an in-house lawyer at Client Earth, specialising in civil ligitation, and has been involved in strategic climate litigation since she joined Client Earth in 2015. Client Earth works to protect the environment through the law, using its legal expertise to contribute to environmental protection through strategic litigation, informing policy, and making sure that citizens are able to hold decision-makers to account. Gillian is a qualified solicitor and holds a law degree from the University of Sheffield (LLB) and a masters degree in Law and Development (LLM) from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Before joining ClientEarth she worked for the Treasury Solicitor’s Department, where she undertook a mix of work, including claims in negligence, human rights and inquests into the deaths of British soldiers whilst on operations. She also worked on the Equality Bill during its passage through...
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Consultative Workshop on Capacity Assessment for Green Economy Transition in Kenya

Researchers from University of Reading in the UK held a fruitful and stimulating workshop on ’Capacity Needs Assessment for Green Economy Transition in Africa’ in Nairobi, Kenya on March 12th 2018. The workshop, which was held in the Hilton Hotel, was attended by academics from the University of Nairobi and technical officers from public and private sectors, as well as civil society organizations involved in planning and implementing green growth initiatives in Kenya. The workshop was funded by the University of Reading under the Global Research Strategic Fund. The Project is led by Professor Chukwumerije Okereke from the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, who is Associate Director of the Centre for Climate and Justice at the University of Reading, with contributions from scientists from Oxford Brookes University and African Technology Policy Studies in Nairobi. The workshop featured presentations, survey questionnaire completion, focus groups and structured reflection over green growth policymaking and implementation in Kenya with a focus on human and technical capacity. The...
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PhD Studentship in Climate Justice at the University of Reading

PhD studentships in Climate Justice at the University of Reading. Climate change is one of the most urgent issues facing humanity. Climate scientists have made significant progress in understanding the causes and likely environmental impacts of climate change, while social scientists and philosophers are addressing the political, ethical and legal challenges presented. What all parties recognise is missing, however, is a body of academics and advisers with sufficient understanding of both the scientific and justice aspects of climate change to enable key research issues to be addressed and appropriate policy to be developed. The Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Programme in Climate Justice fills this gap by producing a cohort of post-doctoral experts with the required breadth of knowledge and understanding to enable the development and implementation of just climate policies. The five year programme provides funding to up to 15 doctoral students to undertake research across a range of areas related to Climate Justice. A pool of academics drawn from the Departments of Agriculture,...
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Launch of the Reading Centre for Climate and Justice

Launch of the Reading Centre for Climate and Justice The Centre launched on 18 January 2018 at the University of Reading   Left to right: Dr Alex Arnall; Professor Chuks Okereke (Associate Director); Professor Phil Newton (Research Dean); Professor Steve Mithen (Deputy Vice-Chancellor); Mrs Mary Robinson; Professor Catriona McKinnon (Director); Professor Chris Hilson (Associate Director); Professor Dominik Zaum (Research Dean).     'Climate justice must become a civil rights movement'         Climate change is one of the most urgent issues facing humanity. While its impact will be felt by everyone across the world, it disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable communities, who often lack the resources and frameworks they need to ensure they receive adequate protection and compensation when dealing with the effects of climate change. There is a pressing need to ensure the burden of climate change is shared more equally, and the demand to tackle the effects of climate change fairly has never been stronger. At the University of Reading, the Centre for Climate Justice has been...
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