We had the pleasure to listen to the following speakers during the Summer School:
On the opening panel “No climate justice without degrowth” Joanna Cabello (Carbon Trade Watch) gave a critical assessment of the UN climate negotiations and the idea of emission trading . She was accompanied by Matthias Schmelzer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History at the University of Geneva and Lyda Fernanda Forero, who works at the Transnational Institute in the Netherlands on “alternative regionalism” and “corporate power”. She will also hold a keynote on the elusive question “what is climate justice?”.
Helga Kromp-Kolb introduced us to climate change on Sunday by presenting „climate change, tipping points, X-Degree-targets – the science basis“. She works at the Center for Global Change and Sustainability of the University of Vienna.
Barbara Muraca gave an introduction in her keynote “what is Degrowth?”. She specializes in Environmental Philosophy (Sustainability Theory & Degrowth-research), Social Philosophy, and Process Thought (Whitehead) and currently works in the philosophy department at the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University.
Heather Milton Lightening is active in the fight against the extraction of tar sands. She talked about civil disobedience on the respective panel “Civil Disobedience: Necessary and legitimate for the fight for climate justice?”. She was joined on stage by Patricio Chávez who works for YASunidos in Ecuador, fighting against oil drilling in the Yasuni national park. The third person on this panel was Vaishali Patil. She is a grassroots-acitivst from India and has been working on issues ranging from homestead land rights for women to ending coal and mining projects to organizing against the largest proposed nuclear power project in her region.
Jose Cueva is a coffee farmer and environmentalist from the region Intag in Equador. He was a speaker on the panel “Green growth vs. ‘let it in the ground’?”. He shared the stage with Laura Weis and growth critic Niko Paech. Laura Weis is a member of PowerShift, an organisation working for an ecological and solidary energy economy. Nico Paech is a professor at the University of Oldenburg and developed the concept of the post-growth economy. His main research is on sustainable development, environmental economics and degrowth. They discussed with Franziska Killiches of the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources. She advises different federal ministries regarding questions of sustainability in the German and international raw materials policy.
The third Keynote “Fossil fuels, coal and the rhine brown coal field” was given by Dorothee Häußermann. She works as a freelance consultant and has been one of the organizers of the climate camp in the Rhineland since 2010.
On the panel „A Just Transition in the Rhineland? Degrowth, coal protests and trade unions“, we had Naome Chakanya, Frederik Moch and Elena Gálvez. Naome Chakany works at the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ), a think tank of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. Frederik Moch works for the Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB) in the department on structural, industrial and service sector policy. Elena Gálvez works together with Patricio Chávez for YASunidos in Ecuador.
Jutta Kill delivered the fourth Keynote „Climate protection and economic growth – tensions and necessary debates“. She studied biology and has been an activist and campaigner since 1993. For fifteen years, she has documented the local consequences of projects which offer tradable emission credits. Since 2010, her focus is on market-based instruments for forest protection and trade of biodiversity credits from projects in Latin America and Africa. Jutta Kill lives in Berlin.
Tom Kucharz works for Ecologistas en Accion and as a political advisor for Podemos. He shared his insights on the panel “Austerity, social collaps and… a degrowth economy? Strategies at the edges”. He discussed with Petros Tzieris who lives in Piräus and is active with A.K.. A.K. is an anti-authoritarian organisational approach in various Greek cities, which was developed in the aftermath of the protests against the EU summit in 2003. Amongst others, the group is involved in the fight against austerity politics and gold mining in Chalkidiki. The two were joined by Reimar Heider. Reimar Heider is a human rights activist active in the International Initiative Freedom for Abdulla Öcaloan – Peace in Kurdistan” and works on the concept of Democratic Confederalism.