Radical Climate Justice for the Global Commons




In 2021 we find ourselves facing a decade at the climate crossroads.

On August 9, 2021 the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a major new report concluding that human activity has already warmed the planet by about +1.1 Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit), that there is more warming locked in for next three decades no matter what we do, and that the window to respond and cut emissions enough to keep warming below +2C is narrowing fast (IPCC AR6 Summary for Policy Makers).

But the Nations, working though the UN climate talks under the rubric of the Paris Agreement on climate change, are promising emission cuts that are nowhere near hitting that mark (UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2020).

The upshot is — 30 years of UN climate talks and climate-focused social movements and activism have collectively failed to stop the climate crisis from spiraling out of control.

In this context, climate movements must radicalize and grow much more effective, quickly, lest the world cross over critical tipping points, with runaway warming destroying our global atmospheric commons and the various ecosystems whose carrying capacities and productivities constitute the shared heritage of all peoples.

How can and should the climate movements scale up their urgency, tactics, and strategies to achieve Radical Climate Justice for the Global Commons?

Complicating matters further, Radical Climate Justice for the Global Commons must contend with the fact that the climate crisis is connected to and exponentially worsens the intersecting crises of pandemic, capitalist globalization, rising authoritarianism, pervasive cultures of violence (including white and various other extremist and racist nationalisms, overpolicing and militarized foreign polices), and the glaring racial divide revealed by the George Floyd uprising and the upsurge of Black Lives Matter in the United States, with variations on all of these themes around the world.

By listening to each other with care and holding spaces for generative conversation, ever-more effective actions, and visionary social movements, can we help radicalize the climate justice movement to figure out what will work under these circumstances?

Can we lift up and share the pluriverse of alternatives that now exist in service of strengthening, supporting, and connecting each other for the actions we must discover and take in the 2020s, our common decade at the climate crossroads?

How can we make our movements, including those oriented around visions of climate justice, big enough, broad enough, intersectional enough, and urgent enough to slow down humanity’s accelerating appointment with the disaster?

We welcome your proposals, analyses, visions, and practices in hopes of radicalizing climate justice for the global commons we seek to co-create.  Let us be bold, creative, and brave – and come together in October 2021 to see how much of this we can do!

Read Ken Hiltner’s White Paper explaining our Nearly Carbon Neutral model.

To see what our conference will look like, visit last year’s conference Confronting Climate Crisis with Systemic Alternatives.

How to contribute to the conference :

Send us an abstract/proposal of 250 words for your pre-recorded individual talk or a whole panel along with a brief biographical note on the speaker(s).  Deadline for proposals is Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

Each author will record their own video, upload it to YouTube, and send us the link by September 24, 2021.

We welcome international submissions!

When your abstract is accepted we will send detailed final submission instructions.

Send questions and/or your proposals to foran@ucsb.edu


*Scene in London. Photo by Alison Kronberg

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