YOGYAKARTA – Institute of International Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada (IIS UGM) held the second series of CLIMATALK (Climate Change Talk). On this occasion, Prof. Dr. phil. Lukas Meyer was invited to be the distinguished speaker. He is the Head of Doctoral Program of Climate Change in the University of Graz, Austria. He is also actively contributing as the lead actor in the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
On this second series of CLIMATALK, Professor Meyer discussed about the inter-generational climate justice. It started with an assumption that what we did in the past have significance on the present day’s climate change. By this assumption, temporal dimension becomes interlinked and important in discussing about climate change. Emissions of human activities, such as greenhouse gasses, have bad effects for the environment, especially the climate change. However, it takes several decades for the effects to materialize. The effects of emissions also have spatial dimension, in which emissions produced in one part of the world would also impact the other part or even globally.
So, what should we do to create climate change adaptation mechanism that can be distributed globally in a just manner, while at the same time taking into account the interlinked spatial-temporal dimension? A main argument offered by Professor Meyer is that the climate change adaptation should be distributed by prioritizing those who are worse off. By doing so, conditions such as inequality and economic difficulty faced by developing countries should be taken as consideration to determine climate change adaptation mechanism. Developing countries are deemed as less benefitted but suffered more from industrialization compared to developed countries, while at the same time becoming more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
If climate change adaptation is distributed by prioritizing the worse off, then developing countries should be given bigger emission right compared to highly industrialized countries. Emission right is a certain amount of emissions which is allowed to be produced by someone. It is one of the mechanisms aimed at limiting the level of greenhouse gasses trapped within the atmosphere. The developing countries are deemed to produce less emissions in the past compared to the industrialized countries. Hence, most people in the developing countries should get higher per capita emission right than most people in the industrialized countries because they have less benefit associated with past emissions to begin with. The developing countries would also need bigger emission right to foster its development. At the end of the day, it becomes crucial to consider the historical aspect of past emissions as well as the present days’ condition in ensuring a just global climate change negotiation.
CLIMATALK is a bimonthly event aiming to increase public awareness about the dangers following extreme climate changes in recent years. This event is designed as an academic forum to discuss such topic as well as to deliberate interesting and concrete ideas to tackle those problems. It is hoped that this forum will give diverse perspective in understanding climate change.
Writer: Husna Yuni Wulansari
Editor and Translator: Angganararas Indriyosanti