Environmental Movements in the Age of Climate Change

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Elise Richter Saal (Main Building)
RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements (host committee)

Language: English

Environmental movements and protest appeared to be natural bedfellows as activists struggled to mobilise an environmentally uneducated populace and to challenge the priorities of governments and parties more concerned about economic development than environmental protection. That changed as governments began to acknowledge environmental problems and, recognising the expertise of environmental NGOs, began to see NGOs as partners rather than adversaries. That relationship was consolidated as climate change rose on political agendas, as governments saw NGOs as potential mobilisers of citizens toward sustainable alternatives to the carbon-intensive economy. 
This created opportunities for NGOs, but, demanding more of them than they can deliver, it has created dilemmas about their identity and future action. Their dilemmas differ according to the dispositions of governments, from the European Union, where governments have mostly accepted the need for action on climate change, to countries where governments have resisted action (e.g. Australia, USA, Canada). 
This session will compare experiences at local, regional, national and transnational levels, to illuminate the variety of scenarios and responses of environmental movements and NGOs, and to consider the future of environmentalism in light of these developments. We shall be particularly interested in the development of new forms of environmental activism at local as well as international levels, and the emergence of activism on climate justice, including networks of NGOs, activists and experts in and around climate summits. Papers on transnational movements or multi-sited research in an international/global perspective will be especially welcome.
Session Organizer:
Christopher ROOTES, University of Kent, United Kingdom
Christopher ROOTES, University of Kent, United Kingdom
The Big Ask: An Exercise in Effective Policy Entrepreneurship
Neil CARTER, University of York, United Kingdom; Mike CHILDS, Friends of the Earth, United Kingdom
It's All Local? Climate Change Adaptation Policies, Climate Action Groups and U.S. Local Governments
Cecelia WALSH-RUSSO, Hardwick College, USA; Mary WALSH, St. John Fisher College, USA
Learning from Failure: Local Climate Activism from Success to Stasis
Marc HUDSON, Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester, United Kingdom