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Workshop coordinators: Andrew Telford, Hanna Muehlenhoff, Rosa Sanchez Salgado & Linda Bos.

Event details of Emotions in European climate politics: An interdisciplinary workshop
Start date
28 September 2023
End date
29 September 2023
Humanities Lab

Emotions influence climate change perception

Political actors within and beyond Europe are grappling with the existential challenges raised by the global climate emergency. On the one hand, there has been an upsurge in climate activism epitomised by Fridays for the Future, School Strikes for the Climate, and Extinction Rebellion. On the other, populist and far-right actors continue to deny the realities of anthropogenic climate change and/or the need for ambitious policy responses. At the level of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen announced the European Green Deal (EGD) in 2019 and heiled it as the EU’s ‘man on the moon moment’. The EGD involves a wide range of policies designed to help the EU reach ‘climate neutrality’ by 2050. These political responses are also associated with a range of emotional expressions, experiences and discourses, including the rise of eco- and climate anxiety (Whitmarsh et al. 2022), shame in the context of practices such as flying (Wolrath Söderberg and Wormbs, 2019), anger and skepticism towards proposed environmental regulation in the context of economic insecurity (Hochschild, 2016), hope in the context of climate changed-futures (Hicks, 2018), and grief and sorrow felt in response to ecological losses (Holthaus, 2022). Indeed, as Brosch (2021) notes, emotions are related to climate change in many different ways, including in climate change perceptions, communication, beliefs and actions.

About the workshop

The interdisciplinary Emotions in European Climate Politics workshop explores these debates in more detail, with a focus on emotions and affective dynamics in European climate change politics, including the role of the EU in these debates and Europe in a global context. The workshop is a part of the interdisciplinary EUfeels project funded by the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies and addresses the following themes:

  • Theorising affective dynamics and emotions in European climate politics
  • The role emotions and affective dynamics play in climate change activism linked to European contexts
  • Emotions and affective dynamics in EU climate change policies, including the European Green Deal
  • Emotions and affective dynamics in the EU’s external relations, including the UNFCCC and climate diplomacy
  • Emotions and affective dynamics in climate change political communication in European context
  • Emotions and affective dynamics across political and geographical scales

Full programme

For a detailed overview of the event, please check out our programme:

Bushuis/Oost-Indisch Huis

Room Humanities Lab

Kloveniersburgwal 48 (main entrance)
1012 CX Amsterdam