Democracy and the Challenges of Climate Change
Climate Justice , Government , Talks / 20 October 2021

Daniel Lindvall, researcher at Climate Change Leadership, is today publishing the Discussion paper Democracy and the Challenges of Climate Change, for International IDEA. You can read the full paper here. The paper discussed correlation between climate change and democratic development. Certain climate consequences, as for example scarcity of food or rising food prices, are known to lead to social unrest and political instability and may lead to democratic breakdown, particularly in fragile democracies with weak state institutions. Other climate related emergency situations may have positive effects for democracy, bringing people together and providing opportunities for regime change, but they could also be used as an excuse for autocratic or hybrid regimes to curtail democratic freedoms.  The paper also present research on the weaknesses and strengths of democracy in dealing with the climate crisis. It argues that democratic states are generally performing better on environment protection policies and climate action than autocratic states. However, factors such as the level of corruption and the size of the fossil fuel industry are affecting the climate performance negatively. Generally speaking, the outcome of the climate crisis will depend on whether democracies can drastically reduce their carbon footprints in the coming years. Climate change poses a challenging…

Remembering Maria and Zé Cláudio : Earth Defenders from Amazonia, 10 Years On

(Photo credit: Felipe Milanez, 2010) On May 24, 2011, Maria do Espirito Santo and Zé Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva, nut collectors and members of the agroforestry project (Projeto Agro-Extractivista, PAE) of Praialta Piranheira in the Brazilian Amazon, were brutally murdered as a consequence of their engagement in protecting the forest from illegal logging and timber trafficking. Making their lives out of a non-exploitative and regenerative relationship with the forest, and passionate about the defence of the rights of both Amazonia and its people, Maria’s and Zé Cláudio’s deaths belong to the number of earth defenders whose lives are being taken, year after year, for opposing the infinite expansion of global economic growth and social metabolism (Global Witness 2019). In 2012, the pair were posthumously recognised as Forest Heroes by the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat for their work fighting illegal forestry. This May we honoured their memory and talked about their legacy for environmental justice struggles in Brazil and beyond. Zennström Professor in Climate Change Leadership, Stefania Barca, and Bartira Fortes, representative of Latinamerikagrupperna, held a moderated discussion with:  Claudelice de Silva Santos, Zé Cláudio’s sister and frontline defender, who continues to oppose the human rights and land violations happening in the wake…

Remembering Berta Cáceres

This International Women’s Day we remembered Berta Cáceres, Indigenous leader and environmental defender from the Lenca people of Honduras. Berta’s murder on March 2nd 2016 was directly associated with her campaign in the defence of the Gualcarque river, the site of a proposed dam in Lenca territory. In her first public event as Zennström Professor Stefania held a conversation with Berta’s daughter, Bertha Zuñiga, in order to understand how her work lives on and the continued struggle for justice in the region. We were very grateful to Bertha for taking the time to speak to us so openly. Many thanks also go to Grettel Navas, Azucena Moran and Katia Lara for their support with this event. Watch the video from the webinar. The video is a mixture of Spanish and English. You can also read the English and Spanish transcripts here. Thank you to María Florencia Langa for transcription and translation. This tragedy of Berta’s murder is not in isolation. In 2019 alone, it is estimated that over 200 environmental defenders were killed as a consequence of their commitment to protect the environment and indigenous lands. Indigenous leaders and Indigenous women leaders in particular have been at the forefront of…

Resources

Find recorded lectures, podcasts and reports with members of the Climate Change Leadership initiative. Follow our youtube channel for talks and events with the Climate Change Leadership initiative at Uppsala University. Follow the CEMUS youtube channel for associated talks and events. Find resources and reports for climate justice and Just Transition here. Find resources and reports for the Swedish Carbon Budget work here. Find resources and reports for the work on universities and education here. Föreläsning: ”Laggards or leaders (bromskloss eller ledare); Paris, 2°C & the role for Sweden” av Kevin Anderson. Den hölls på Hotel Lysekil den 9 mars och publik var människor som hade samlats för att protestera mot Preems utbyggnad av oljeraffinaderiet i Lysekil. Dagen efter deltog Kevin Anderson som vittne i Mark- och miljööverdomstolens förhandlingar om Preems ansökan om utbyggnad. Mars 2020. Seminarium: Fossilfri välfärd och negativa utsläpp – vision, kollision eller tomma ord? Den 11 februari 2020 samlades forskare och beslutsfattare för att ta sig an dessa två centrala idéer i den aktuella klimatpolitiken: fossilfri välfärd och negativa utsläpp. Isak Stoddard, doktorand hos CCL och NRHU, var med i panel diskussionen. Report: Internationalisation and Sustainability The report below provides a brief exploration of the relationship…