Western Sydney University Partners with Chilean Organisations to Address Climate Emergency

Knowledge Culture Climate Action: Accelerating Climate Change Action: The Paris Agreement and Beyond - on a green banner showing dry, broken soil with a green leaf growing up from it.

On 2-3 December 2019 in Santiago, Chile, Western Sydney University will join the University of Chile, CIGIDEN, NUMIES and other international partners to host a symposium addressing the climate emergency, results from which will be live-steamed to the UN Climate Change Conference COP 25 in Madrid, Spain.

The Knowledge/Culture/Climate Action (KCCA) symposium will be held on theme of Accelerating Climate Change Action: Social Crises and Climate Emergency – Beyond the Paris Agreement.

KCCA aims to highlight the interconnection between social crises and the climate emergency through the sharing of experiences, scientific evidence and traditional knowledge, and to help accelerate the decarbonisation of the economy while promoting a fair, habitable world for human communities and all other forms of life.

By doing so, it aims to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Agenda (opens in a new window), particularly to SDG Goal 16 – ‘Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels’ and Goal 17 – ‘Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development’.

Conference Chair Dr Fiona Cameron, from the Western Sydney University Institute for Culture and Society, says the conference will dig deep into the importance of addressing social demands along with environmental and climatic challenges.

‘Currently there is a significant gap between the aggregate effect of the Paris Agreement’s signatories’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions and attempts to keep the rate of warming below 2 degrees. Failure to achieve such a goal will make worldwide efforts to ensure a habitable planet for all, end poverty, reverse inequalities and alleviate the adverse effects of climate change such as systemic drought, extreme weather and the rising bushfire risk in Australia, more difficult or impossible to attain.’

‘Alternative solutions that can complement, work with, and enhance the ambition of existing implementation strategies in the Paris Agreement and national programs are needed to accelerate climate action,’ she says.

Organising Committee member Associate Professor Juan Francisco Salazar, also from the Institute for Culture and Society, says that it is vital to make stronger links between socio-ecological change dynamics, social inequalities, economic growth, and action on the climate emergency, as current social unrest in Chile shows.

‘The ongoing social crisis in Chile – as in many other parts of the world – is strongly connected with water rights, extractivism and the degradation of ecosystems which are having devastating effects on communities,’ he says.

With a focus on Chile and Latin America, KCCA will contribute to imagining post-carbon futures and accelerating pathways to their achievement by bringing scientists together with activists, artists, youth, indigenous communities, academics, NGOs and cultural institutions to exchange knowledge, build partnerships and take action on climate policy.

Delegates will report live on alternative solutions to the UN Climate Change Conference COP 25 (opens in a new window)on 3 December as part of an event with the University of California. COP 25 aims to take the next crucial steps in the UN climate change process following agreement on the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement at COP 24 in Poland last year.

‘By contributing to the discussions at COP 25, we can bring together diverse voices to highlight the link between social crises and climate emergency, and put forth alternative, visionary solutions to accelerate the ambition of the Paris Agreement,’ says Dr Cameron.

The KCCA event is hosted by the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, and the Climate Resilience Research Center, University of Chile (CR2), in partnership with The Millennium Research Nucleus on Energy and Society (NUMIES), The Center for Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Reduction (CIGIDEN), and The Australian Embassy in Chile and Ecuador.

The Enhancing the Paris Ambition: Universities, Science, Humanities and Arts Interfaces 4 Future Life Side Event at COP 25 (opens in a new window)is hosted by the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, in partnership with the University of California. It will be broadcast from the UN website (opens in a new window)on Tuesday 3 December, 6.30pm Central European Standard Time / Wednesday 4 December, 4.30am Australian Eastern Daylight Time. For the

Posted: 29 November 2019.