Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Stockholm+50: Five Decades of Global Environmental Governance (Open Lecture Hall)

Klimastreik 2021

Klimastreik 2021

Public Lecture Series:

Monday, 4:15 - 5:45 p.m., first lecture 25 April, 2022

(Exceptions: Monday, 2 May, 2:15-3:45 p.m., and 11 July, 10:15-11:45 a.m.)

Lecture Hall A, Henry-Ford-Building (Garystraße 35)

Conception: Prof. Dr. Lena Partzsch

News from Mar 10, 2022

Fifty years ago, the first United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm. Since then, the world has witnessed many environmental summits and appeals for sustainable development, most recently, the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. This public lecture series takes stock of five decades of global environmental governance. In addition to climate change, environmental issues include deforestation, pollution of the oceans and freshwater. In 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda with a set of wide-ranging goals that articulate the desired outcome of sustainable development in diverse areas: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The guest lecturers present the state of the environment in global sustainability governance: How have perceptions of sustainable development changed in politics and research over the last decades? Which actors and institutions have most mattered for governance efforts, and who should be held accountable for success and failure? Which alternative and innovative forms of governance exist and deserve more research attention for a transition to environmentally salient sustainability?

The lecture series starts with “the green targets” of Agenda 2030, i.e. SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 15 (Life on Land), SDG 14 (Life below Water) and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). The following lectures cover the SDGs with environmental trade-offs and synergies, in particular, SDG 2 (Food Security), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). In addition, we look at the role that cities (SDG 11) and partnerships (SDG 17) might play for an environmentally sound implementation of Agenda 2030 and conclude with a synthesis lecture. This lecture series conveys the full spectrum of sustainability perceptions, identifies governance failure and responsibilities, and contributes to developing alternative and innovative approaches to accelerate a transition to sustainability.

 

25.04.2022

International climate change politics: From Rio de Janeiro to Glasgow

Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs, Chair of Environmental and Climate Policy, Hochschule für Politik, Technical University of Munich

The scientific community is warning that efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions remain inadequate and that without immediate and drastic action the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree Centigrade goal is likely to be overshot within this decade. Demands for a rapid exit from fossil fuels, but especially coal, are intensifying, especially most recently with the Fridays for Future movement. A growing number of countries and regions have set net zero climate targets for mid-century (with some difference on the specific date) and more and more countries are issuing plans to speed the development of renewable energy. At the same time, there are many interests worried about what the impact of a rapid transition will mean for impacted industries, communities and workers. In the light of the Glasgow climate negotiations, this lecture will examine how major emitting countries and blocks are dealing with the imperative to address climate change and to what extent and how they are framing climate protection versus development trade-offs and synergies.

02.05.2022

2:15-3:45 p.m.

Plant a tree and save the world? Changes in governance arrangements since 1992

Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit, Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, University of Freiburg

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals into concrete national and local action involves tackling important trade-offs between different goals and targets, but also opens the possibilities to benefit from potential synergies between them. A first part of the lecture discusses the development of sustainability principles and related institutions and actors at the intersection of water and climate sectors in the last 30 years, starting with the Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development, as well as the Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development in 1992. A second part of the lecture presents and discusses important interactions, including trade-offs and synergies, between SDGs 6 (water) and 13 (climate), based on relevant reports and the recent literature on SDG interactions. A third part of the lecture presents three case studies in mountain regions in Bolivia, Ecuador and Switzerland. The three case studies illustrate how actors and institutions have tackled the interactions between water- and climate-related SDGs. More specifically, we ask what types of innovative governance arrangements (policies, institutions, actors) local municipalities are using to sustainably govern water and climate issues.

09.05.2022

Protecting life below water: competing orders, interests, and forms of knowledge

Assoz. Prof. Dr. Alice Vadrot, ERC Research Project MARIPOLDATA, University of Vienna

Ocean protection covers activities in areas within and beyond national jurisdiction aiming to reduce effects of serious pressures on the marine environment such as from overfishing, ocean acidification, climate change and pollution. Article 192 of the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea establishes an obligation on states to protect and preserve the marine environment and SDG 14 (Live below Water) figures as unifying imperative to consider Life below Water in global sustainability agendas. In 2018, governments started to negotiate a new legally binding instrument for the protection and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). This paper uses the BBNJ case to demonstrate how different principles, norms and legal systems that are applied to different maritime zones and marine resources continue to challenge the protection of the ocean and critically discusses if and how SDG 14 matters in current ocean protection efforts.

16.05.2022

Sustainable development and water: cross-sectoral, transboundary and multi-level governance arrangements

Dr. Manuel Fischer, Group Leader Eawag/ Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Political Science, University of Bern

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals into concrete national and local action involves tackling important trade-offs between different goals and targets, but also opens the possibilities to benefit from potential synergies between them. A first part of the lecture discusses the development of sustainability principles and related institutions and actors at the intersection of water and climate sectors in the last 30 years, starting with the Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development, as well as the Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development in 1992. A second part of the lecture presents and discusses important interactions, including trade-offs and synergies, between SDGs 6 (water) and 13 (climate), based on relevant reports and the recent literature on SDG interactions. A third part of the lecture presents three case studies in mountain regions in Bolivia, Ecuador and Switzerland. The three case studies illustrate how actors and institutions have tackled the interactions between water- and climate-related SDGs. More specifically, we ask what types of innovative governance arrangements (policies, institutions, actors) local municipalities are using to sustainably govern water and climate issues.

23.05.2022

Water for life and food: synergies between SDGs 2 and 6 and human rights

Prof. Lyla Mehta, PhD, Professorial Fellow, Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex

This lecture focusses on linkages between SDG 6 water + SDG 2 zero hunger + SDG 2 access to land and SDG 10 reducing inequality. Water is essential for all life and integral to food system functioning and improved food systems are essential to meet SDG on water and sanitation. The lecture challenge mainstream supply-oriented and neo-Malthusian visions that argue for the need to increase the amount of land under irrigation in order to feed the world’s growing population. Instead, we argue for a reframing of the debate concerning production processes, waste, food consumption whilst proposing alternative strategies to improve water and land productivity, putting the interests of marginalised and disenfranchised groups upfront.

Land and water rights often go hand in hand, and are marked by gender, caste, racial and other exclusions. The lecture highlights how accessing water for food security can be challenging for smallholders, vulnerable and marginalized women and men, and how water allocation systems and reform processes can negatively affect local people’s informal rights. It argues for the need to improve policy coherence across water, land and food and will conclude by making a case for strengthening the relationship between the human rights to water and food, especially for marginalised women and men.

30.05.2022

Clean energy services: universal access as enabler for development?

Prof. Dr. Andreas Goldthau, Vice Director Willi Brandt School of Public Policy, University of Erfurt

According to a recent joint IEA et al. (2021) report, some 759 million people lack access to electricity and 2.6 billion are without clean cooking solutions. Clearly, in addition to the human security dimension, universal access to modern and clean energy services comes with a development imperative. Yet, while economic development correlates with higher energy consumption, closing the energy access gap must not come with future emissions. To fight dangerous climate change and to adapt to the effects of climate change that have already manifested, energy demand increments must be covered by clean sources. With this in mind and departing from a thorough analysis of the key tenets of the SDG7 challenge, the present lecture delves into four specific aspects. First, it recaps how the discourse at the policymaking level in the developing world has in the past decade shifted from a sectoral view to perceiving energy as an enabler for broader socio-economic goals. In this context, the lecture discusses some of the pertinent linkages with other SDGs. Second, the lecture reviews what has “worked” in the developing world, using country examples and their policies to illustrate success (and failure) in clean energy access. Third, the lecture zooms in on clean cooking and shows how despite the multifaceted cobenefits in terms of health, gender or environmental protection, countries struggle to implement adequate policies and market interventions that make an impact. Finally, the lecture presents an outlook to 2030 and beyond, identifying key policy action points from the perspective of the carbon neutrality target and the 1.5C scenario, and in light of the latest IPCC AR6 report.

13.06.2022

 

Partnerships for the goals: facilitating the biodiversity-climate-governance nexus?

Prof. Dr. Philipp Pattberg, Director of the Amsterdam Sustainability Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Multi-stakeholder partnerships represent an essential building block for the 2030 sustainable development agenda. In fact, SDG 17 calls for partnerships as the main vehicle of delivering sustainable development globally. However, little scholarly attention has been directed to the question of partnerships acting as nexus-facilitators between various SDGs. Consequently, this paper analyses multi-stakeholder partnerships and their potential to bridge the various ambitious but unconnected global goals. Thousands of partnerships and bottom-up commitments have been registered on the SDG Partnership Platform, many of which cut across SDGs and promise to integrate different issue areas. Empirically focusing on partnerships that work between SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 15 (Life on Land), this paper scrutinizes the leading “bridging practices” that partnerships implement to act as “nexus facilitators”.

20.06.2022

(online/ livestream)

From economic growth to socio-ecological transformation: Rethinking visions of economy and work under SDG 8

Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Project Coordinator at Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, Lund University

This lecture critically analyses SDG8 (Decent work and economic growth) and its targets, and suggests how the economy and work could be reoriented towards socio-ecological transformation. First, it problematises the goal of economic growth, which is not compatible with ecological sustainability due to the impossibility of decoupling GDP growth from material and energy throughput. It also pays attention to injustices entangled with the pursuit of growth and scrutinises the sectors that are expected to expand, such as tourism, finance and industrial activity. Second, the understanding of work under SDG8 is discussed, arguing that the pursuit of growth makes work unsustainable and unjust, while the current targets address the symptoms rather than underlying causes of the problems with work. Third, instead of economic growth, socio-ecological transformation is argued to be a more fitting orientation for societies. In line with this goal, a vision of regenerative economy focused on well-being, sufficiency and equity is formulated, followed by a vision of work that emphasises work in regenerative activities, its democratisation, and working less. In conclusion, it is suggested that the overall framework of Agenda 2030 needs to focus on well-being rather than the growth-focused and western notion of development, and an alternative to SDG8 is articulated.

27.06.2022

 

‘We will not be mainstreamed into a polluted stream’: An ecofeminist critique of SDG 5

Dr. Sherilyn MacGregor and Aino Ursula Maki, University of Manchester

We caution against developing another set of reductive goals, targets and indicators that ignore the transformational changes required to address the failure of the current development model rooted in unsustainable production and consumption patterns exacerbating gender, race and class inequities. We do not want to be mainstreamed into a polluted stream. We call for deep and structural changes to existing global systems of power, decision-making and resource sharing. This includes enacting policies that recognize and redistribute the unequal and unfair burdens of women and girls in sustaining societal wellbeing and economies, intensified in times of economic and ecological crises (Statement by WGC, DAWN   WECF 2013).

04.07.2022
10:15-11:45 a.m. (online/ livestream)

 

Realising sustainable consumption and production: Beyond neoliberal governance?

Dr. Magnus Bengtsson, Future Earth

This lecture looks at the need for major changes in production and consumption to enable humanity to live within safe ecological boundaries, including a stable global climate – a central objective of the SDGs agenda. It assesses from a critical perspective how the targets of SDG 12, which aims to "ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns," addresses this critical challenge. It gives special attention to how SDG 12 is linked to SDG 10 on reduced inequalities and SDG 13 on climate action. The analysis finds that the SDG 12 targets mainly aim to enhance the efficiency of production and consumption systems while paying no or little attention to the need for reduced consumption and a shift to sufficiency/wellbeing-oriented lifestyles among the world’s wealthy. It also finds that implementation arrangements are based largely on a neoliberal approach to governance, relying to a high degree on information disclosure and actions by individual consumers.

11.07.2022

10:15-11:45 a.m. (online/ livestream)

Cities and the SDGs: a spotlight on urban settlements

Dr. Anna Kosovac and Daniel Pejic, The University of Melbourne

By 2050, 70% of the world population is predicted to live in urban settlements (UN Habitat, 2020). It is no wonder then that the United Nations has taken note and is acknowledging cities now more than ever (Kosovac et al, 2019), and nothing expresses the need for a better quality of life for the urbanising world more than the inclusion of a ‘cities’ focus in the Sustainable Development Goals. The sustainable development goals, taking the place of the former Millennium Development Goals, diverged from its predecessor through the creation of a specific city-focused aspect of its agenda: SDG 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable). This lecture discusses the intricacies of this goal, the pressure to create an ‘urban’ focus, and its intersections with other SDGs and Agenda 2030.

18.07.2022

 

The environment in global sustainability governance

Prof. Dr. Lena Partzsch, Professor of Comparative Politics with as focus on Environmental and Climate Politics, Otto-Suhr-Institute, Freie Universität Berlin

The lecture series concludes with a synthesis that outlines a research agenda that takes into account the full spectrum of sustainability perceptions, identifies governance failure and responsibilities, and allows developing alternative and innovative approaches to accelerate a transition to sustainability. Comparing the lecturers’ answers to the key questions of this series, this lecture aims to bring together the many open ends in environmental governance research.

3 / 4

Keywords

  • Environment, Water, Oceans, Climate, Land, Forests, Biodiversity, Cities, Degrowth, Growth, Eco-Feminism, Gender, Partnerships, Sustainable Consumption and Production