In the wake of the IPCC’s recently-released Special Report 15: Global Warming of 1.5℃ there has been a flood of reports in the popular media featuring some iteration of the following headline: “We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN” (the latter from The Guardian, on October 8th, 2018). The report identifies the need for “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” in order to keep the world to within 1.5°C of warming from pre-industrial levels. CO2 emissions reduction curves in the report offer a stark visual of the drastic nature of behavioural change required of global civilization over the next number of years to limit the extent of damage to both human and natural systems.
Yet despite clearly laying out the scientific case for reducing CO2 emissions to net zero at some point in the next few decades, the report gives rise to a number of social, political and economic questions for policy-makers, climate policy researchers and concerned global citizens:
What is it exactly that global civilization has “twelve years left” to avert, and how ought we to confront this challenge in a just manner?
What are the broader implications for modern globalization – both from the climatic changes expected and from the human transformations required to mitigate global warming?
What role can or should global governance institutions play in fostering the types of systems transitions called for in the IPCC’s report?
And what happens if the GHG reduction targets suggested by the IPCC go unmet?
Chair and Moderator:
Dr. Ryan Katz-Rosene, Assistant Professor and CIPS Principal Researcher, University of Ottawa, and Co-President, Environmental Studies Association of Canada
Panelists Dr. Kirsten Zickfeld, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University (and one of Canada’s contributing authors to SR15), participating digitally, live from Vancouver
Dr. Prakash Kashwan, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science at the University of Connecticut, Storrs
Dr. Teresa Kramarz, Associate Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto; and Co-Director, Environmental Governance Lab
Dr. Nathalie Chalifour, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa; and Co-director, Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability.