A just transition - how do we tackle heat, need and greed?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 13:00

When:     Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 10:00 to 16:00
Where:    Education Building, Maynooth University

Event is free – further details and registration at Eventbrite

As the world enters the third decade of the 21st century it is confronted by rising global temperatures and worsening climate change, posing a profound threat to human civilization (IPCC 2018). Simultaneously, there is deepening social inequality within advanced countries (Piketty 2016, Atkinson 2015), and between the global “North” and global “South”. Deeply embedded interests, who super-exploit labour, and extract and burn cheap fossil resources globally, have caused and now perpetuate these giant evils.

While some have argued that climate change is an existential threat, to be attacked without reference to distributional questions, others counterpose distributional struggles across a range of needs – jobs, incomes and public services – to radical climate measures. In this context, many call for a “just transition”, a pathway that addresses human need as it also counters the existential threat of climate chaos. This conference provides material for rethinking, linking and addressing both objectives. Anna Coote (2020) argues that this transformational new policy – Universal Basic Services (UBS) - can play a role in saving our societies and our planet.  Expanding the principle of collective universal service provision to everyday essentials such as care, housing and transport is the best way to tackle many of the biggest problems facing the contemporary world. 

This conference provides material for rethinking, linking and addressing both objectives and brings together several contributors on the linked challenges of climate change, human need and inequality.