Climate Justice Research Centre

UTS Launch Events, 17-18 August 2017

17 August 12:30-5:30pm
Forum: ‘Beyond the Coal Rush’, Tom Morton, Anna Krien and others
17 August 6:00-8:00pm
Public Lecture and Launch: Dipesh Chakrabarty
18 August 10:00am-6.00pm
Roundtable Debates: Climate Justice – Agendas for Research and Action

All events are free. Further info:

Forum: ‘Beyond The Coal Rush’
with Tom Morton, Anna Krien, and others

When: Thursday 17 August 12.30-5.30pm
Where: UTS Building 10, Level 2, CB10.02.340
RSVP: Eventbrite

12.30-2.00pm: Long-form journalism, coal and the climate crisis: activism and extractivism
Tom Morton (‘Beyond the Coal Rush’, three-part series, ABC RN, and UTS) with Anna Krien (author, ‘The Long Goodbye: Coal, Coral and Australia’s Climate Deadlock’, Black inc.)

2.00-4.00pm: Contesting new coal mines: ethnographies
Germany – Katja Mueller (Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany) and Tom Morton
India – Manju Menon, Kanchi Kohli (both Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi), and Devleena Ghosh
Australia – Rebecca Pearse, Linda Connor (both USyd)
Discussant: Anna Krien

4.30-5.30pm: National energy and climate policy + Agendas Beyond Coal
India, Germany, Australia: Stuart Rosewarne (Usyd) and James Goodman
Discussant: Sven Teske (Institute for Sustainable Futures)

Public Lecture and Launch: Dipesh Chakrabarty
‘The Human and the Geological: On Anthropocene Time’

Introduced by Prof. Mary Spongberg, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

When: Thursday 17 August 6.00-8.00pm -Reception 6-6.30pm, Lecture and Q&A 630-8.00pm
Where:Building 6: CB 06.04.040
RSVP: Eventbrite

This lecture discusses how distinctly geological and sociological ideas undergo mutual translation in current debates on climate change, climate justice, and the idea of the Anthropocene. The aim of the lecture is to investigate the relationship between our contemporary imaginations of world history and the history of the planet. Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty is at the University of Chicago. He is currently working on ‘The Climate of History’ (Routledge) and ‘Anthropocene in Fueling Culture’ (Fordham)

Roundtable Debates: Agendas for Research and Action

When: Friday 18 August, 10.00am-6.00pm
Where:Building 8, CB04.03.321
RSVP: Eventbrite

Five roundtables; five minute presentations with wider discussion about agendas and priorities.

10.00-11.15am: Solutions, False / Real
Jonathan Marshall, Michael Fabinyi, Jeremy Walker (all UTS), Holly Creenaune (Sunrise Project and Stop Adani Campaign)

11.30am-12.45pm: Energy Democracy / Social Ownership
James Goodman (UTS), Sven Teske (Institute for Sustainable Futures, tbc), Nicky Ison (Community Power Agency), Rebecca Pearse (University of Sydney), Tom Reddington (APHEDA, Union Aid Abroad), Colin Long (Cooperative Power Australia + NTEU Vic) Kellie Caught (ACOSS)

1.15-2.45pm: Climate Agency / Media
Jahnnabi Das, Tom Morton, Catriona Bonfiglioli (all UTS), Naomi Hodgson (The Wilderness Society), Paul Cleary (Author and Journalist, tbc)

3.00-4.15pm: Climate Heat and Work / Life:
Francesca da Rimini, Elizabeth Humphrys, Leena Thomas (all UTS), Bruno Lemke (Climate Change Health Impact Profile,

4.30-6.00pm: Land Justice / Climate Justice:
Devleena Ghosh, Heidi Norman (both UTS), Karrina Nolan (Original Power, Aboriginal activist on land and climate), Vinuta Gopal (Asar Social Impact, formerly Greenpeace India), Kanchi Kohli (Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi)


Climate justice signals a collision between the long history of the biosphere and its geology, and the much shorter history of social change and human justice. At a practical level it embodies the necessary meeting point between the science of climate change and the politics of social change. Most importantly it enacts the socio-ecological relations beyond the prevalent climate-society divide.

Climate justice is both expansive and normative. It reflects the expanding logic of climate change as a phenomenon that subsumes social relations. As it cascades through societies, climate change generates normative imperatives and recasts political agendas, for instance around concepts of ‘just transition’ or ‘energy democracy’.

The concept is grounded in North-South divides, in terms of the global injustices of climate change. At the same time it points to inter-generational responsibilities, to the wider context of social inequality and cultural rights, and to issues of ecological justice. It is a dynamic concept that transforms agendas for policy and social change.

Climate justice started to emerge and gain political traction in the early 2000s, initially from climate action movements and NGOs,. It is now taken up by a wide variety of players, including UN agencies, and in academia, from international relations, international law, and geography to international sociology.

This new Centre aims to advance its development. It asks how the direct experience of climate change can be translated into political and social change. It investigates what social and political frameworks will best promote climate justice, and debates how the these frameworks can be established.

Climate change poses the challenge of translating abstract large-scale climate science into the everyday contexts of social justice, and thus into embedded political agendas. The Centre will focus on this field of applied knowledge in the search for socio-political frameworks for transformation, beyond the injustices of climate change.