Politics

The 2016 Berlin Conference on Global Environmental Change

Transformative Global Climate Governance ‘’APRES PARIS’’

May 30th, 2016
Sopiko Reizba, Berlin Global
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The Conference on Global Environmental Change, ‘’Transformative Global Climate Governance après Paris'' was already the 12th installment in the successful series of Berlin Conferences That started back in 2001 and that was jointly initiated by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) at the Freie Universität Berlin.

‘’At the conference, more than 200 international experts were exploring how Global Climate Governance could look beyond Paris.’’ They were welcomed by the Co-chairs of the 2016 berlin Conference: Steffen Bauer, Clara Brandi and Klaus Jacob.

The main aspiration of the conference on Global Environmental Change was ‘’to bring together ideas and threads of research that have not been adequately linked before to deal with the underlying intellectual challenges of transformative global climate governance as well as to reach out to the political practice of climate governance’’. Within the two days, it provided a space for the timely discussion of interdisciplinary transformation research that was built on institutional scholarships, social and cultural sciences, policy analysis, political philosophy as well as political economy approaches to climate governance.

Dirk Messner, Director of the German Development Institute/ Deutsches institute fur Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and professor in social sciences at the University of Duisburg-Essen, opened the conference with the presentation on Mapping the six Dimensions-perspective on a Great Transformation. Addressing the guests he spoke about the decarbonization of global economy where he outlined the importance of understanding the link between positive (IMF working Paper, May 2015. Fossil Energy Subsidies, 5, 3 trillion US-$ p.a (6, 5 $%of Global GDP)) and negative (Collapsing states,) sides, and costs of climate impacts. He mentioned that non-action would drive and trigger International crisis. Dirk Messner is also co-chair of the German Advisory Council on global change (WBGU); his research focuses on global cooperation, climate change and low carbon development.

The second keynote was held by Leena Srivastava, the Vice Chancellor of the TERI University, she introduced the presentation that was focused on the key question ‘’Is the Paris Agreement ‘’ Fair and ambitious’’ enough to prove transformative?’’, and gave an explanation of how situations are evaluated after the Paris agreement. At the end of the opening session, many questions were raised and expectations among the attendees were high.

The opening session was followed by the first round of parallel panels, including a wide variety of issues, as adaptation, fairness, Governance of different sectors as well as the narratives surrounding transformative global climate governance. After the lunch, several semi-plenary sessions took place, with the participation of different stakeholders including NGO’s and government agencies. Moreover, during the evening session on 23th of May, the new Co-Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Jennifer Morgan held her speech about the importance of scientists employing their research in advancing the public debate on climate action.

One of the Critical discussions during the semi plenary on 24th of May was the issue of equity and fairness- how to ensure Equity and Fairness in the Implementation of the Paris Agreement and before the closing plenary, experts also concentrated on following question: What will the Future of Global Climate Governance Look Like? Moreover, during the discussion Frank Geels one of the world's leading theorists in the field of transformative change, provided a theoretic framework on just ‘’how a climate smart and just transformation might be achieved’’.

 

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