Climate change is heating up Earth’s atmosphere as well as disputes about how to best respond to this global challenge. “Future generations” are increasingly making themselves heard in the European debate. This poses communicative and legal questions of which claims can be brought by and against whom, and on whose behalf. Speakers include the Future Generations Commissioner of Wales, Sophie Howe, the Dutch Ombudsperson for Future Generations Jan van de Venis, legal counselor for the Urgenda Foundation Dennis van Berkel and Dila Doğan of Youth for Climate.
In this half-day symposium, we will bring together legal and social science scholars across disciplines and representatives of societal organisations to discuss communicative and legal questions triggered by and pertinent to the challenge to respond to climate change in the European context.
This event is open to the general public and attendance is free of charge. Students are strongly encouraged to attend.
Welcome and introduction
By Laura Burgers & Robin Tschötschel
With a presentation by Jan van de Venis, human rights lawyer and ‘acting’ Dutch Ombudsperson for Future Generations.
Session 1: Future generations
Chair: Chantal Mak, Amsterdam Law School, UvA
Dila Doğan of Youth for Climate, Sabine Niederer of Visual Methodologies Collective, Robin Tschötschel from Amsterdam School of Communication Research and Philipp Pattberg fom the Institute for Environmental Studies, VU.
Sustainability is the attempt to meet the needs of those presently alive without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs. We ask who self-identify as future generations. How will they be affected by climate change, in a close and more distant future? Who should normatively be counted in legal-political schemes as future generations? Who claims to speak for them in political, legal, and public fora in Europe?
Session 2: Tackling climate challenges
Chair: Andreas Schuck, Amsterdam School of Communication Research, UvA
Speakers: Sophie Howe, Commissioner for Future Generations of Wales (Skype), Laura Burgers from the Amsterdam Law School, Dennis van Berkel representative of Urgenda, Anke Wonneberger of the Amsterdam School of Communication Research and Sven Jense, Climate Cleanup.
In the second session, we turn towards attempts at finding responses to current political, legal, and social obstacles to adequately addressing climate change in the European context. We will critically discuss the legal and political involvement of future generations in public discussions concerning solutions for climate change.
Plenary: Sustainable futures?
Moderated by Jaap Tielbeke, research journalist specialised in climate change.
In the concluding plenary debate we link our discussions from the previous two sessions, and deliberate which approaches have the potential to sustainably allow those affected by climate change to be part of how we address the issue in Europe — legally, socially, and politically.
Chantal Mak & Laura Burgers
Politics & Publics