Planning for the low carbon transition: where climate policy meets geography


16 décembre 2021
Visioconférence (lien ci-dessous)
17h30 - 19h00

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Cette conférence de la Société Géographique de Liège sera donnée en anglais par le Pr. Dan VAN DER HORST de l'Université d'Edimburgh.

The industrial revolution has unlocked humanity’s access to fossil fuels; a huge biogeological ‘bank account’ of solar energy that has been accumulating since the Carboniferous Period, 300 million years. We have been plundering this savings account very rapidly, and we have used much of this energy to overcome the limitations imposed on us by geography; enjoying domestic comforts when the outside world is dark or freezing or very hot or humid, conquering new spatial frontiers (the sea, the arctic regions, space), growing global supply chains, embracing hyper-mobile lifestyles and accumulating (and throwing away!) lots of material things.

The pandemic and crises of environmental degradation, pollution and climate change are now challenging (relatively) affluent societies. We cannot afford to wait for new clean technologies or new medicines to rescue our old and unsustainable lives. The urgency of climate action (adaptation and mitigation) is no longer far from our bed; we are forced us to look more closely and critically at what needs to change at the local level and at the limits and opportunities of geography to reshape a more sustainable ways of living. Geography (physical, administrative, linguistic etc.) also raises difficult comparative questions about equity and solidarity; on our small part of the planet, are we ‘doing our fair bit’ in response to this global crisis? Should we try to take the lead in one type of climate action? Is there an excuse for us to lag behind in other types of climate action?

Using examples from across Europe, I will (a) highlight how different forms of climate action are emerging in specific geographies, (b) discuss the possible reasons behind the different speeds of adoption and (c) explore (hopefully with input from the audience!) the benefits of developing new climate action initiatives, proactively targeted to address problems and develop capacities at the local level.


Compte tenu des règles sanitaires en vigueur, la présentation d’un Covid Safe Ticket pourrait être exigée des participants. Vous trouverez davantage d’informations relatives au Covid Safe Ticket sur le site officiel

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