Reparation and Equality: Edinburgh Futures Conversations kick off First Breath season

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The first Edinburgh Futures Conversations event on ‘The Future of Climate Justice’ took place at the Playfair Library Hall on 10 October, kicking off the Edinburgh Futures Insitute’s First Breath: Autumn 2022 event season.

The first Edinburgh Futures Conversations event on ‘The Future of Climate Justice’ took place at the Playfair Library Hall on 10 October, kicking off the Edinburgh Futures Institute’s First Breath: Autumn 2022 event season. 

Monday night’s conversation focused on questions of reparation and equality, especially for those facing the greatest burden from climate change in the world. 

A panel of climate experts and activists joined the sold-out in-person event which was also livestreamed: Elizabeth Cripps, Tasneem Essop, Arunabha Ghosh, A. C. Grayling, with a recorded message by Patricia Scotland. The event was chaired by Hermione Cockburn.  

 The panellists discussed what climate justice meant and what actions can be done to achieve this. They criticised the absence of loss and damage reparation in the COP26 agenda, and pushed for the need to ensure a mechanism to deliver climate finance to reach those who need it the most is achieved in COP27. 

Early in the discussion, Elizabeth Cripps stressed the need for participatory justice ensuring that those impacted the most in the climate crisis have a say in decision-making. AC Grayling raised the refusal of governments and multinational corporations to accept responsibility in the crisis and the need to invest in sustainable actions. Tasneem Essop stressed that climate injustice is structural and systemic, off the back of historical injustices against the Global South.  

Arunabha Ghosh said: ‘Justice delayed is justice denied,’ criticising how the issue of loss and damage has only now been added to the global agenda. In her recorded message, Patricia Scotland pushed for a ‘multidisciplinary approach’ as we work together to achieve climate justice. 

Following questions from in-person and online attendees, the panellists issued a challenge for individual and collective action to address the climate crisis. 

The conversation continues 

Two more Conversation events on ‘The Future of Climate Justice’ will take place this month.  

On 14 October, Indonesian writer and artist Khairani Barokka performs AMUK, a new, archipelago-futurist piece on environmental and climate crises as the result of centuries of colonial extractivism. 

 This specially commissioned poetry performance builds on questions of climate policy and finance to tell the story of the earth. 

 AMUK will be performed in-person at Inspace and will be livestreamed. 

 The final event in this season’s conversations series will be held online on 19 October, with an extended community of climate justice leaders who will examine actions that can change systems. 

The online panel features environmental experts and climate activists from around the world: Khairani Barokka, Alice C. Hill, George Monbiot, Vanessa Nakate, Mitzi Jonelle Tan, and Laura Young. The discussion will be chaired by Elizabeth Bomberg.  

EFI’s Data + Design Lab is offering a parallel ‘long table’ event and a ‘viewing party’ for the online discussion. 

More from the First Breath season 

From the themes explored in the Edinburgh Futures Conversations series, our First Breath event season continues with two events celebrating Black History Month. 

On 21 October, we join the Scottish BPOC (Black and People of Colour) Writers Network for an evening of celebration featuring three brilliant artists and writers who will present their work at Inspace. 

Presenting their work in this event are Brenda Vengesa, Lisa Williams and Thulani Rachia. 

On 24 October, authors Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa are in conversation with Shola Mos-Shogbamimu about their powerful book, His Name is George Floyd, in an online event. 

Nominated for the 2022 National Book Award, His Name is George Floyd is an intimate, scrupulous biography which places Floyd’s life in the context of white supremacy. 

Further info and links  

See the full programme of the First Breath Event season

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