Two Conference Symposia on Gender and Climate Change

Linköping, Sweden 25 November 2010
Gender, Sustainability & Climate Change

Uppsala, Sweden 26 November 2010
The politics of climate change, gender and development
Linköping and Uppsala is within convenient train travelling distance.
Symposia descriptions and links below:
1. Linköping, Sweden 25 November 2010
Gender, Sustainability & Climate Change
Chair: Måns S. Andersson. Tema department, Linköping University & Royal Institute of Technology KTH, Stockholm
- “By insisting merely on women’s vulnerability or virtuousness (based sometimes on questionable statistics or beliefs) we neglect to see the important gendered aspects of climate change and how they may be effectively dealt with” (Arora Jonson 2009).
- The fairly short history of gender and climate change research, activism and politics mainly deals with painting two simplistic images of women. Firstly, it is the image of third world women as vulnerable victims of climate change, deprived of information and means of coping. And in addition, burdened by disproportionate work load and care taking responsibilities, sometimes plagued by a fragile physique resulting in for instance increased mortality rates.
- Secondly, it is the image of virtuous, proactive first world women with, as compared to men, greater acceptance for drastic climate change policies and measures, a higher level of policy internalization, skepticism against technical solutions and a higher level of sustainable self sacrificing practicing of the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle).
- Analyses of the available literature show that gender studies, as discipline, is a latecomer to the field. Gender studies has demonstrated a striking inertness when it comes to reacting to the threats posed by global warming, as well as performing empirical studies in first world contexts and possibly also in producing applicable theory. Despite substantial efforts to put gender on the political and scientific agenda regarding climate change very little has happened within academia. What kind of responsibility does gender research institutions have when it comes to producing the much needed academic knowledge regarding gender and global holocaust scenarios and what are the obstacles and possibilities, organizational and theoretical?
- The Gender, Sustainability and Climate Change symposia aims at problematizing current positions and in developing knowledge about the gendered processes and motivations regarding societal climate change adaptation and mitigation, with a special focus on first world settings. The session aims at scholars as well as a practitioners and policy makers.
2. Uppsala, Sweden 26 November 2010
The politics of climate change, gender and development
Chairs: Rohan DeSousa, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Seema Arora Jonsson, Department of Rural and Urban Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Climate change is an environmental concern shared across nations. Different reasons and several solutions have been presented over the years. Recent global understanding has been that the increase in temperatures is anthropogenically generated due to long-term intensive industrial growth and high consumption lifestyles in developed countries. The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is based on this understanding. However much it is accepted, the politics of climate change shows that this understanding of responsibilities is not uncontested. Developing countries have managed to bring to the agenda the question of development and link it closely to efforts to ameliorate climate change. A system wherein developing countries are funded to start projects that would mitigate the effects of climate change and contribute to development is an important cornerstone. According to some, the developed world has the technology necessary to take care of this problem and the answer is to get the technology transfer right as well as the economics of carbon trading. They invite papers that explore these areas and deal with the nexus of politics, society and the drive towards carbon trading.
- How do current power relations internationally and within nations play out in the responses to climate change? How do issues of poverty and development figure in these relations?
- What are the gendered dimensions of this politics and how may it entrench inequality or provide possibilities for more equitable relations?
- Do the new changes provide possibilities for a change in thinking on science and especially in terms of other intersecting axes such as class, ethnicity, nationality? How might that be?
- How are standard responses to climate change established? What is the role of science and how does politics make itself felt?