Overline: Focal Topic 2022/2023
Headline: Justice in Sustainability

The issue of justice is increasingly playing a greater role in the transformation towards sustainability. Calls to improve justice outcomes touch on a variety of issues, in particular the distribution of the costs and benefits of transformations as well as the burdens of climate change and environmental degradation. Other claims target procedural aspects: Who should have access to decision-making about transformation towards sustainability? A third set of justice claims focuses on recognition: Which groups are or should be recognized as rights-holders or as affected or especially vulnerable populations?

These claims arise in different fields and sectors: Countries from the Global South argue that those countries most responsible for the climate crisis should shoulder a greater burden and call for efforts to deliver equal access to energy. Matters of social justice also loom large in discussions around the coal exit and the adoption of a carbon tax.

Recent years have seen a surge of interest across the scientific community in the nexus of justice and sustainability, and the relevance of research on issues such as just transitions and equity in governance. RIFS made justice and sustainability a key focus of its activities in 2022 and 2023. Throughout the year we gathered together the diverse threads of this debate with the aim of rendering visible the various dimensions of injustice within transformations towards sustainability and developing suitable solutions.

Lecture Series Calendar

30.01.2023 3pm – 4.30pm (CET) Infrastructuring environmental (in)justice: on the political geographies of energy technologies in planetary crises. Benno Fladvad (RIFS)
Online via Zoom.

21.02.2023 4pm – 5.30pm (CET) Klima- und Umweltpolitik: eine Frage von Privilegien? Zwei lokale Initiativen teilen ihre Erfahrungen aus Deutschland und Frankreich. Fatima Ouassak (Verdragon) und Gülcan Nitsch (Yeşil Çember)

Les politiques de transition écologique : une affaire de privilégiés? Deux initiatives locales issues des quartiers populaires partagent leurs expériences en France et en Allemagne Fatima Ouassak (Verdragon) et Gülcan Nitsch (Yeşil Çember)

Lecture will be exceptionally held in German and French only. Online via Zoom.

29.03.2023 3pm – 4.30pm (CET) Lützerath Debrief: Legacy & lessons. Ruairí Casey, Judith Pape and Elias König

RIFS Potsdam at Helmholtzstr. 5 (bank building) in Potsdam or online via Zoom.

24.04.2023 3pm – 4.30pm (CEST)  What Kind of Social-Ecological Transformations? Some Critical Considerations of the Concept of Justice in Times of the Deepening Multiple Crisis and Growing Eco-Imperial Tensions. Ulrich Brand (University of Vienna)

22.05.2023 3pm – 4.30pm (CEST)  Rights of Nature and their Transformative Potential for more Sustainable Futures? Struggling for Alternatives to Destructive Anthropocentric Development. Riccarda Flemmer (University of Tübingen)

Online via Zoom. Register here for participation.

26.06.2023 3pm - 4.30 (CEST) Territories of Life and Sacrifice Zones. Geoffrey Garver (McGill University)

Hybrid event. Register here for the on-site participation at the RIFS canteen at Helmholtzstraße 5, D-14467 Potsdam. Register here for online participation.

All events will be either online or hybrid.

The complex dimensions of justice in sustainability

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