Climate Justice: Meeting the Fairness test

FEPS event with the support of the Fabian Society Hosted by Amnesty International UK on […]


FEPS event with the support of the Fabian Society
Hosted by Amnesty International UK on 26th March 2012
Amnesty International UK, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA


For too long the climate change agenda has been characterised as caring solely about environmental concerns. As the effects of climate change are starting to be felt around the world it is becoming clear that it is the world’s poor and vulnerable who will be the first to feel the negative effects of climate change and measures to tackle it. This isn’t just something that will be beamed back from far flung climbs such as Africa on television but is also something that is affecting people here in the UK and Europe as we speak.

How we distribute the burdens of reducing consumption and emissions across society raises deep questions of fairness and social justice. Yet rarely do attempts to foster more sustainable behaviour engage with these justice issues, often focussing instead on other factors such as financial rewards and penalties. This is surprising given evidence from other domains, which suggests that collective dilemmas about how to manage common resources often trigger a deeply-ingrained set of fairness instincts, along with strongly pro-social behaviours. Fairness as a concept holds deep public resonance, and policy success often depends on going with the grain of a powerful popular sense of what people think is fair.

This one day non-party political conference will explore climate change through the prism of social justice, as well as discussing how we can fairly reduce consumption and emissions in the UK and Europe. It will ask if appealing to peoples’ ‘fairness instinct’ could motivate action and build public support for sustained policy action.


12hr00 to 13hr00 – Sustainable lives? What changes public behaviour?

This session will explore fairness motivations for behaviour change, bringing these together with other advocacy and expert perspectives to how to engage the public in sustainable behaviour, and the key policy choices necessary to get the framework right. New insights into Fabian research will be presented.

Natan Doron (Senior Researcher, Fabian Society)
Louis Lemkow (Director, ICTA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Dr Tom Crompton (Change Strategist, WWF)

Faye Scott (Head of Research, Green Alliance)

13hr00-14hr00 Lunch

14hr00 to 15hr00 – Climate risk: fairness responses and vulnerability

This plenary will analyse how climate change will impact differentially on people and places in the UK and elsewhere. Looking at who the most vulnerable are we will discuss how we can prevent the worst effects falling disproportionately on disadvantaged groups and communities. New JRF research will add additional angles to the session.

Julia Unwin (CEO, JRF)
Chitra Nadarajah (Climate Change and Energy Programme Manager, Hampshire County Council)
Paul Cobbing (Chief Executive, National Flood Forum)

Alexandre Seron (Campaign Director, CNCD)

15hr00 to 15hr45 – Afternoon Keynote
Caroline Flint MP – Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

15hr45-16hr45 – Environment Question Time: Ideas for public campaigns for change

This entire session is devoted to your questions to our expert panel on how we can influence society towards sustainability and fairness. You’ll join MPs, campaigners and commentators, as we discuss the best ways to campaign for change.

Joss Garman (Environmental Campaigner)
Kate Green MP (Shadow Equalities Minister)

Fiona Harvey (Observer)

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