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Christopher Shaw, University of Oxford. Crunch results, at least in part, from the way our policy responses allocate risk, attribute responsibility and.

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Presentation on theme: "Christopher Shaw, University of Oxford. Crunch results, at least in part, from the way our policy responses allocate risk, attribute responsibility and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Christopher Shaw, University of Oxford

2 Crunch results, at least in part, from the way our policy responses allocate risk, attribute responsibility and confer rights  Risk – does policy merely displace risk? What are the political risks arising from the way rights and responsibilities are allocated?  Rights – who has the right to a high carbon lifestyle? What rights count in consideration of what is an acceptable level of climate risk?  Responsibility – responsibility to actors who lack the agency to reduce their emissions? Where does responsibility lie – in production or consumption?

3  A briefing note, synthesising the research findings of the six, four year ESRC Climate Change Leadership Fellowships.  A series of six workshops with UK and international audiences.  Sharing the insights generated during the workshops.  A high profile journal paper, summarising responses emerging out of the workshop discussions.

4  Getting delegates to stay focused on the themes of rights, risks and responsibilities challenging – mean different things to different audiences.  Boundaries between these concepts is fuzzy.  Not everything that audiences came back with fitted into these categories.  Responsibility the theme which most engaged people and found easiest to discuss.  Policy audiences more concerned with risk.  Rights proved to be the element of climate justice which our audiences had least to say about.  Getting traction with these issues about timing and framing


6  Withdrawing Risk Protection: What’s worth protecting and who decides? Triage: withdrawing cover from un-insurable assets  What can ‘we’ afford and who pays? What does the state accept responsibility for protecting? (state duties to provide collective protection v Individual responsibility for insuring property)

7 GLOBAL IMPACTS OF UK CLIMATE POLICY  Who bears the burdens of mitigation actions? (e.g CDM controversies/biofuels) Raises governance challenges : accountability inclusion, participation to ensure those who bear least responsibility do not bear most burden Strong support by UK for carbon markets, but what sorts of reforms are necessary to avoid displacing risks and burdens in these ways?  How far do duties extend? Funding adaptation in UK by re-directing foreign aid?


9  Increasing emphasis giving individuals responsibility for dealing with climate change  Government and social pressure – not limited to direct emissions in household sector but to fuller consumption- based carbon footprint  Our research: people in the UK ascribe role of responding to climate change to actors whom they perceive to have greater power, responsibility and capacity to act  Outcome of OECD event: no focus on individual responsibility; primary focus on UNFCCC negotiations regarding territorial emissions of nation states  Governments tend to avoid the political risks of taking long term action – place responsibility back on individuals, communities and firms  Result? Neither publics nor politicians willing to respond to radical calls for action Q : How to have a meaningful dialogue about this?

10  UNFCCC negotiations (following Kyoto, Copenhagen) – emissions accounted under territorial/production accounting principles (PAP)  Should we also consider consumption accounting measures (CAP)?  e.g. CARBON FOOTPRINT  Considerable attention at national and devolved levels in the UK  House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee consultation and report on Consumption-Based Emissions Reporting  Wales unique in UK context, producing more carbon than it consumes  Issues with CAP in terms of (a) information for accounting; (b) CONSUMER KNOWLEDGE, GOVERNMENT JURISDICTION and CONTROL

11  Big single producer and exporter in Welsh Iron and Steel sector – Port Talbot steelworks (Tata of India)  Around 5,000 employees  Biggest single emitter of CO2 in Wales (30% of Welsh emissions covered by EU ETS in 2011)  Also local air quality concerns, but improving (along with carbon intensity) through work (cooperation with Welsh Government) on resource efficiency  Key strategic sector in the Welsh economy  Serving downstream manufacturers in both the rest of the UK and overseas  If production and related emissions weren’t located in Wales, would they simply relocate (with potential net increase in global emissions)?


13 Climate Policy interacts with rights in at least three ways:  1: Rights as Constraints on Climate Policy – mitigation negatively impacting on rights  2: Rights and Energy Use – Should we think in terms of equal rights to emit if people have different needs?  3: Rights, Participation and Procedural Justice - Rights concern not just outcomes, but procedures. Who has what rights to shape which decisions?

14 Core Point: Climate Policies (whether mitigation, adaptation or geoengineering) can impact on the extent to which people can enjoy rights. Internationally Issue 1: potential implications of energy policy: eg first generation biofuels 1. Concerns about food v fuel (2005-2008) 2. Concerns about labour right violations (Brazil) 3. Concerns about landgrabs (palm oil Malaysia) Complex issues about causality and responsibility Also: potential for future generation biofuels to address these concerns. See Nuffield Council on Bioethics Biofuels: Ethical Issues (2011).

15  Renewable Energy Directive in EU targets 10% of transport fuels to come from renewable sources by 2020. This target said to be contributing to human rights abuses outside of EU borders (p 85).  Rights to livelihood: EU‘s biofuels targets have acted as a stimulus to oil palm production in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia resulting in the consolidation of oil palm production into large-scale plantations, squeezing out smallholders who are unable to compete. But, poverty reduced dramatically in Brazil from 20 % of the population in 2004 to 7 per cent of the population in 2009. One major reason for the improved economy in Brazil is the dramatic growth in commodity-based exports, sugar cane and ethanol are among these commodities.

16  Breaking down justice debate into components can allow for a more targeted message  Reveals how displacement of risks, responsibilities and rights violations runs through discussion of justice  Timing important  Build bottom-up deliberation on these issues

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