Justice and Climate Transitions

24 sep 2015 09:00 - 25 sep 2015 17:00

Jeudi 24, AM, et vendredi 25:

Institut d'études avancées de Paris
Hôtel de Lauzun
17 quai d'Anjou, 75004 Paris

Jeudi 24, PM:

Auditorium de l'Hôtel de Ville
5, rue Lobau, 75004 Paris


In the lead up to the 2015 UN Paris Climate Conference the Paris Institute for Advanced Studies will hold an interdisciplinary conference on “Justice and Climate Transitions” organised with the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. The Conference will bring together leading thinkers from philosophy, policy and the social sciences to examine the moral, social and political issues at stake in transition to a low carbon society. Panellists are invited to discuss how might we interpret and evaluate different transition pathways and low-carbon futures in terms of social justice. The aim is to present both philosophical and critical social scientific perspectives on these questions before bringing these into dialogue with each other. The conference panels will be organised into two themes outlined below.

The conference will include an event hosted by the city of Paris at the Auditorium de l'Hôtel de Ville (Thursday, September 24th afternoon).


Theme One: Climate transitions and moral and political philosophy.
These presentations will explore the specifically moral issues associated with a transition to a low carbon society. This dimension of our response to climate change is important if we are to avoid creating further injustices. Ethics and in particular considerations of justice, plays a crucial role in determining what the responses to climate change should be and in how we should evaluate such responses. This part of the workshop will focus on the crucial dimension that moral and political philosophy brings to understanding how we ought to respond to dangerous climate change and how it can contribute to the work of other disciplines to bring about a transformation. The workshop will bring together leading international philosophers to consider issues such as:

  • What are the moral issues associated with different ownership models (public/private) of new renewable energy infrastructure? Do certain models of infrastructure deployment (household solar) have benefits such as increased household autonomy?
  • To what extent ought a transition to a low carbon economy include maximal moral considerations such as increasing equality or reducing poverty?
  • What role does community or individual endorsement play in deciding on whether to develop and deploy new technologies?
  • Do we have duties of compensation to employees in industries displaced by climate transitions?

Theme Two: Climate, justice and low carbon transition. Social scientific and policy analyses.
Critical questions of social, global and environmental justice are posed by how the transition to a low-carbon society and energy system is pursued. Markets, technologies, governments, civil society and consumers (or combinations of these) have all been enthroned as agents of low-carbon transition. Yet, these attributions of agency all have implications for the speed, direction and outcomes of possible energy transitions, including the emerging distributions of ownership and power. These sessions will therefore focus on a critical analysis of public policy of energy transitions and climate justice.
Indicative list of questions:

  • What are the assumptions and rationales guiding policies aimed at low carbon transition? Which constellations of forces or actors might bring about a transition to a low carbon society?
  • What are the different ownership models (public/private) of new renewable energy infrastructure? How might certain models of infrastructure deployment (household solar, smart grids) involve new forms of association - and new distributions of power, wealth, risk and control?
  • Following social movement calls for ‘energy democracy’ – what would it mean to democratize energy, other technological systems and the transition itself? How do the dynamics of inequality (including class, gender, race and global north/south injustice) intersect with climate transition?
  • What does ‘transition’ mean to different (and possibly) unequal social actors ? How do some framings of ‘transition’ become hegemonic while others may become marginalized? What are the implications of this for a socially just transition?


REGISTRATION MANDATORY (registration form below)



Morning: IEA de Paris, Hôtel de Lauzun

(In English)

9:15 - 9:45  Jeremy Moss (University of New South Wales, Sydney)
                      Introduction: "Justice and Climate Transitions"

9:45 - 11:00  John O'Neill (University of Manchester)
                        "Mapping climate disadvantage"

11:00 - 11:15  Pause

11:15 - 12:30  Darrel Moellendorf (University of Frankfurt)
                        "Can Dangerous Climate Change be Avoided?"

Afternoon: Hôtel de Ville, Auditorium

(In French and English with simultaneous translation)

14:30 - 15:00      Marie-Christine Lemardeley, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of higher education, student life and research: Inaugural address

15:00 - 15:10      Dominique Schnapper, President of the Paris Institute for advanced Studies : Presentation of the stakes of the conference

15:10 - 15:20      Célia Blauel, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of environment, sustainable development, water, canals and the local climate action plan: Presentation of the session’s themes

15:20 - 17:00      Roundtable on the themes of « social inequalities », « reactions to changes » and « governance and democracy ». With Simon Caney (Oxford University), Conrad Kunze (UFZ Leipzig), Catherine Larrère (Université Paris 1), John O’Neill (Manchester University), Darrel Moellendorf (Goethe Universität, Francfort), Jeremy Moss (UNSW Sydney), Larry Reynolds (IEA de Paris), Fabian Schuppert (Queen’s University Belfast) and Gordon Walker (Lancaster University)

16:30 - 17:00      Questions of the audience

17:00 - 17:10      Célia Blauel : Conclusions

17:10                   Cocktail



IEA de Paris, Hôtel de Lauzun

(In English)

09:10 - 10:25  Simon Caney (Oxford University)
                        "Justice, Trusteeship and the Transition to a Low Carbon Economy: An integrated Approach"

10:25 - 11:40  Fabian Schuppert (Queen's University Belfast)
                        "Risk avoidance through transition, legitimate expectations and issues of justice"

11:40 - 11:50  Break

11:50 - 13:00  Larry Reynolds (Paris Institute for Advanced Studies)
                        "Cities, Citizens and Social Justice in the Energy Transition"

13:00 - 14:15  Lunch

14:15 - 15:30  Gordon Walker (University of Lancaster)
                        "Climate justice, energy demand and the right to energy"

15:30 - 15:45  Break

15:45 - 17:00  Conrad Kunze (Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung, Leipzig)
                        "Renewable Energy and new Public Ownership"

Les inscriptions sont closes. Néanmoins l’entrée sera possible 5 minutes avant le début de l’événement en fonction du nombre de places disponibles.
International workshop organized by Jeremy Moss, Chair in Political Philosophy, University of New South Wales, Sydney, and Larry Reynolds, Fellow of the Paris institute for Advanced Studies, program "Energy transition"
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