The lens of ecological law: a look at mining

Containing an in-depth study of the emerging theory and core of ecological law, this book insightfully proposes a ‘lens of ecological law’ through which the disparity between current laws and ecological law can be assessed. The lens consists of three principles: ecocentrism, ecological primacy and ecological justice. These principles are used within the book to explore and analyse the challenges and opportunities related to the transition to ecological law and to examine three key mining case studies.

First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México City 2018 – Sustainable structures of living together and degrowth in the energy sector

This presentation outlines an approach to imagine an energy policy break from the growth status quo.

Triumph der Ungerechtigkeit: Wie wir Steueroasen und Steuerdumping beenden können

Mitschnitt der 36. Ausgabe von Europe Calling, dem europäischen Online-Diskussionsformat von Sven Giegold MdEP. Thema war am 27.2.2020: “Triumph der Ungerechtigkeit: Wie wir Steueroasen und Steuerdumping beenden können” mit Star-Ökonom und Autor Gabriel Zucman und EU-Steuerexpertin Catherine Olier. Moderation von Sven Giegold MEP.

Recording of the 36th session of Europe Calling, the European Online-Discussion Format by Sven Giegold MEP. On 27 Feb 2020 the topic was: “The Triumph of Injustice: How we can end tax havens and tax dumping” with star economist and author Gabriel Zucman und EU tax expert Catherine Olier. Moderated by Sven Giegold MEP.

How to beat coronavirus capitalism?

An online teach-in with Naomi Klein, Astra Taylor, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, with a musical performance by Lia Rose.

The current crisis is laying bare the extreme injustices and inequalities of our economic and social system. We are in a battle of visions for how we’re going to respond to this crisis. We will either be catapulted backward to an even more brutal winner-takes-all system — or this will be a wake-up call. Ideas that were dismissed as too radical just a week ago are starting to seem like the only reasonable path to get out of this crisis and prevent future ones. We need to use every tool that we have that allows us to hear each other’s voices, to read each other’s words, to see each other’s faces, even if it’s just on screens, to stay organized and stay connected. We have to create spaces where we’re able to deliberate and strategize about what it means to protect our neighbors, our rights, and our planet. We have to have the confidence to say this is the moment when we change everything.

Coronavirus in times of climate change: a reflection

“What is is that you value and want to keep? What do you have to let go of in order to stop making matters worse? What is it that we have lost in our industrial society and need to bring back?”

Mapping and Analyzing Ecological Distribution Conflicts in Andean Countries

The extractive sector is increasingly important in the GDP and export basket of the four Andean countries under study (ACs) (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia). The analysis of an updated inventory of 296 environmental conflicts in the EJAtlas for these four countries reaches the following conclusions: extractivism causes environmental conflicts related to mining, fossil fuels, hydropower and biomass; indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant communities are the most affected; behind the conflicts, there are not only environmental impacts but also social impacts that concern livelihoods, land deprivation and work insecurity, and also loss of cultural practices and cultural identity; most of the forms of collective action used in protests are peaceful, most notably petitions, street marches, media activism, lawsuits, while States and companies criminalize activists and are often violent (with about 75 cases in which there are deaths or disappearance of environmental defenders); socio-environmental movements (that sometimes include environmental NGOs) have achieved relative success, stopping 59 of the 296 conflict-generating projects and giving birth to new forms of resistance. While successfully stopping single projects cannot be construed as a general critique of economic growth, such attempts are congruent with post-development, community-centric, ecologically-balanced and culturally-sensitive Andean visions such as buen vivir or sumak kawsay. They are also congruent with policy proposals put forward from a post-economic growth perspective such as “leaving unburnable fuels in the ground” and “resource extraction caps”.

Ecological Economics, vol. 157, March 2019, pp. 80-91

De-growing environmental justice: Reflections from anti-mining movements in Eastern Europe

While the critique to economic growth is quintessential in the degrowth scholarship, one may observe a similar focus in various environmental justice movements around the world. This is particularly visible when it comes to the increasing perception that mega-development projects are both unjust and unsustainable, threatening the survival of people and environments. In this paper, we illustrate this focus by looking at two anti-mining movements in Eastern Europe (EE): Save Rosia Montana (Romania) and Krumovgrad (Bulgaria). The local movements describe open cast mining (even in the prospective phase) as potential destruction of basic sources of life (material commons such as water or crops, and community relations). The paper emphasizes a dynamic involved in doing environmental justice, or ‘de-growing EJ’: affected communities organize themselves by ‘staying in place’, producing alternative economies, organizing local democratic institutions. What potentially “grows” here, is a societal imaginary of justice on how to reproduce the socio-ecological conditions of life by protecting and re-defining traditional means of production and grassroots practices, knowledge, wealth, and values.

Ecological Economics, vol. 159, May 2019, pp. 271-278

Future green economies and regional development: a research agenda

Future green economies and regional development: a research agenda. Regional Studies. The past 30 years have seen an explosion of interest and concern over the detrimental impacts of economic and industrial development. Despite this, the environmental agenda has not featured substantially in the regional studies literature. This paper explores a range of options for regional futures from a ‘clean-tech’ economy and the promise of renewed accumulation through to more radical degrowth concepts focused on altering existing modes of production and consumption, ecological sustainability and social justice. In so doing, it investigates the potential role of regions as drivers of the new green economy, drawing on research into sustainability transitions.

Regional Studies, Vol. 51, pp. 161-173, 2017

Overcoming the process-structure divide in conceptions of Social-Ecological Transformation: Assessing the transformative character and impact of change processes

A fundamental transformation towards sustainability in face of complex social-ecological challenges needs to initiate deep changes of those incumbent system structures that support unsustainable trajectories, while at the same time encouraging a diversity of alternative practices. A review of transformation approaches towards sustainability shows that these do not (sufficiently) link processes of change at the micro level to deep leverages of change in wider system structures.

Addressing this research gap, we develop a conceptual framework for a social-ecological transformation that connects the macro and the micro level and helps to bridge process-oriented and structural approaches to transformation. At the macro level, the objectives of inter- and intragenerational justice need to be pursued by challenging the central paradigms that constitute unsustainable trajectories. To make the framework concrete and applicable in practice, we propose a preliminary set of evaluation principles for the micro and meso level that reflect these normative objectives and help to measure the transformative character and transformative impact of change processes. The example of the European Organic Breeding Network illustrates the application of the framework.

An Ecological Economics research that is reflective of its transformative quality in light of the incumbent paradigms can make important contributions to transformation research.

Ecological Economics, Volume 164, October 2019

Who promotes sustainability? Five theses on the relationships between the degrowth and the environmental justice movements

Environmental destructions, overconsumption and overdevelopment are felt by an increasing number of people. Voices for ‘prosperity without growth’ have strengthened and environmental conflicts are on the rise worldwide. This introduction to the special issue explores the possibility of an alliance between post-growth and ecological distribution conflicts (EDCs). It argues that among the various branches of post-growth and EDCs, degrowth and environmental justice (EJ) movements have the best potential to interconnect. This claim is discussed via five ‘theses’: We argue that both degrowth and EJ movements are materialist but also more than just materialist in scope (thesis I) and both seek a politico-metabolic reconfiguration of our economies (thesis II). We also show that both degrowth and EJ seek consequential as well as deontological justice (thesis III) and they are complementary: while EJ has not developed a unified and broader theoretical roadmap, degrowth has largely failed to connect with a wider social movement (thesis IV). Finally, both degrowth and EJ stress the contradiction between capitalist accumulation vs. conditions of social reproduction (rather than that between capital and labour) (thesis V). We conclude that an alliance between degrowth and EJ is not only possible but necessary.

Ecological Economics, Volume 165, November 2019

Why economic ‘degrowth’ is an ethical imperative

Edited excerpt from “Frugal Value: Designing Business for a Crowded Planet” by Carina Millstone

Degrowth Audiobook

This is a collaborative podcast project to create an audio book version of the book “Degrowth: A vocabulary for a new era” for various languages.


The Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World

Introduction of the summary:
Climate science tells us that we’ve pushed beyond ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system,’ and are on the verge of committing to catastrophic interference. In this context, it’s necessary to raise our heads, if only for a moment, from the tactical scrum, and to consider brute necessity. To that end, we argue for a stringent mitigation pathway (one that can only be achieved by way of an international emergency program) that would give us a reasonable probability of keeping global warming below 2ºC. This implies a pathway that would have global emissions peak in 2015 and then drop at a resolute six percent per year, to reach a level of 80 percent below 1990 levels in 2050. Along the way, CO2 concentrations would peak near 425 ppm (with CO2-equivalent levels reaching about 470 ppm) before they began to fall.

Such an emergency pathway is, to be sure, a technical challenge; but it’s even more a political challenge. After all, the defining political reality of the climate crisis is that we confront it within a profoundly and bitterly divided world characterised by staggering levels of poverty amid enormous (and growing) wealth. And while the usual path from poverty to prosperity is via a development process that entails dramatic increases in the per capita use of fossil fuel energy, this path must be closed. Any future in which it’s taken by even a significant fraction of the world’s poor is a future in which dramatically rising carbon emissions make a mockery of emergency rhetoric.

The whole report can be downloaded for free on the webside of the publishers.

ISBN: 978-3-927760-71-4

Klimagerechtigkeit erklärt in Leichter Sprache

Was bedeutet Klimagerechtigkeit? In diesem Film erklären wir den Begriff „Klimagerechtigkeit“ in Leichter Sprache. Leichte Sprache richtet sich an Menschen, die Standardsprache nicht oder nur mit Mühe verstehen. Im Film werden die Begriffe Klimawandel, Globaler Norden, Globaler Süden und Klimagerechtigkeit leicht verständlich erklärt. Dabei skizzieren wir die Zusammenhänge zwischen Industrialierung, nationalem und persönlichem Reichtum, Klimaschuld und Klimagerechtigkeit. Persönliche Konsummuster (Mobilität, Waren, Essen, Wohnen) werden ebenso behandelt wie (trans-)nationale Aufgaben. Klimaschutz und Klimaausgleichszahlungen stellen wir als wichtigste Bedingungen für Klimagerechtigkeit heraus.

15 Minuten für Klimagerechtigkeit mit Lyda F. Forero

Der menschengemachte Klimawandel ist eine der größten Herausforderungen unserer Zeit. In der Wissenschaft herrscht Einigkeit darüber, dass der Ausstoß von Treibhausgasen drastisch reduziert werden muss, um gravierende Klimakatastrophen zu verhindern. Doch wie lässt sich der Klimawandel auf globaler Ebene fair und gerecht gestalten? Welche Verantwortung tragen die Länder des globalen Nordens? Welche Ideen und Konzepte gibt es für die Menschen im Süden ein gutes Leben zu führen, ohne die Konsum- und Produktionsmuster des Nordens nachzuahmen? Und welche Rolle kommt in diesem Prozess der Politik und der Zivilgesellschaft zu?