TRINITY-UCD MASTERS IN DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE (MDP) MODULE IN CLIMATE CHANGE, JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT HOST MRS MARY ROBINSON

The Trinity-UCD Masters in Development Practice (MDP) module in Climate Change, Justice and Development  hosted Mrs Mary Robinson for a lecture entitled – “Climate Justice: preserving dignity in the face of adversity” on Wednesday 15th February 2017.

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The lecture highlighted the following points:

  • Climate Justice is concerned with the moral argument (on the side of those suffering the most from climate impacts and that they share the benefits)
  • There is the need for constructive, open multilateralism and a radical and just transition
  • The “right to a healthy environment” had not been included in early documentation but now it is recognised in legal documents
  • The biggest challenge is not avoiding catastrophic climate impacts, but avoiding them whilst also enabling development
  • The more we can mitigate, the less we need to adapt
  • Energy is the engine of development. People cannot be denied this right but there is the need to ensure access to clean energy which will require technology transfer and investment
  • The Paris agreement was a crucial step forward; the current concern is about putting it into place and holding countries accountable
  • Legal systems and legal checks and balances must be in place
  • How we react and our response in the face of adversity is key. For example, concerning the Dakota pipeline, Seattle voted to divest from Wells Fargo
  • How do we encourage people to have a sense of personal responsibility towards climate change? Talk to them as parents and grandparents on the impacts climate change will have on future generations

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