Session 4/4: Professor Simon Caney, Climate Ethics Series TT 2020

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Join us for the final session in this series with Professor Simon Caney on 'Power, Political Responsibilities and Climate Change'!

About this Event

This University of Oxford, Faculty of Philosophy series brings together some of the world’s leading experts in climate ethics — John Broome,  Megan BlomfieldHenry Shue and Simon Caney — to showcase the latest and cutting edge work in the area. 

Location: Online. Please register.

Convener: Alice Evatt. Please contact for any queries 

Further Details: Click here

Abstract: Tackling climate change and the transition to a zero carbon economy requires a radical transformation of the social, economic and political institutions that structure our lives. It calls for the overhaul of our cities, towns, and buildings and infrastructure; putting a price on carbon; investing in clean energy and facilitating clean energy transfer; and the re-evaluation of existing practices and social norms. It is also imperative that this transition is a just one, one in which any burdens are borne by those with the greatest ability to pay. All this requires concerted political action. But what kind of political action is required? Who has what political responsibilities to bring about this change? What political responsibilities do you or I have? What are the sources of these responsibilities? Political action requires coalitions and cooperation with others, but then this raises further questions that arise from membership of a political movement. What form should such political cooperation take? What responsibilities do people have as political actors? Do we have a duty to temper our view and compromise in the interests of effectiveness or out of respect for others? What epistemic responsibilities do agents have? How do we go about answering such questions? My aim in this talk is to provide some answers to these questions. I argue that Erik Olin Wright's theory of social transformation provides a fruitful framework for thinking about these issues. With this in mind, and drawing on the social scientific work on the politics of carbon, energy and energy transitions, I outline an account of agents' political responsibilities.

This series is intended to spark interest in questions relating to philosophy and climate change and unite people across the university interested in issues of climate change and the role of philosophy in furthering climate research, action and discussion. The first 45mins-hour will consist of a lecture and then the floor will be open to questions and discussion. No prerequisites or prior knowledge required.

Series Schedule: 

Session 1: Professor John Broome (Oxford)— 'Self-interest against climate change', Wed May 20 (Week 4), 2-4pm. Click here to register.  

​Session 2: Dr. Megan Blomfield (Sheffield) — ‘Responsibility for Climate Change in an Unjust World’, Wed June 3 (Week 6), 2-4pm. Click here to register.

Session 3: Professor Henry Shue (Oxford) — 'Are There Second Chances in Climate Change? Carbon Dioxide Removal and Intergenerational Risk Transfer', Wed June 17 (Week 8), 2-4pm. Click here to register.

Session 4: Professor Simon Caney (Warwick) —  'Power, Political Responsibilities and Climate Change'Wed June 24 (Week 9). Time TBA

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