Water and Resilience

Towards fair and effective responses to climate change

Workshop: Justice and values in the climate transition

Date: July 4th-5th 2022

Submissions Deadline: April 15th

Organizer: Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) 

Confirmed keynote: Prof. Henrik Thorén (Lund University)

Format of workshop: in person, some spots for hybrid sessions (see below)

Increasingly, communities, cities, and economies face the need to not only mitigate, but also adapt to climate change. Mitigation and adaptation to climate change are complex and multifarious efforts, involving profound transformations in critical infrastructure systems, social behaviors, and values, and governance systems, as currently captured with umbrella terms such as, respectively, the “energy transition” and “resilience-building”. At present, there is abundant research on the economic and technical aspects of these endeavors. However, despite an increasing interest in the public acceptability and justice of the measures and policies involved in these contexts[1], how to understand and include social values and justice in these transformative programs is a topic that is only starting to be analyzed in-depth (Schlosberg 2012; Bulkeley et al. 2014; Shi et al. 2016; Meerow et al. 2019; Táíwò 2021; Cañizares et al. forthcoming; Olsson et al. forthcoming).

This workshop is an invitation to contribute to the exciting challenge of imagining how our climate transitions can be just –and what challenges they face in this regard. We propose to address this topic with one conference session followed by a discussion.

For this workshop, we ask for contributions that offer philosophical insights about specific challenges for justice and morality in the climate transition, especially if they are based on interdisciplinary work and practice. In particular, we strongly welcome articles discussing the appropriate embedding of values and justice concerns in various aspects of climate action (models and discourses in climate economics and other climate-related science, energy future scenarios, adaptation models, resilience-building policies and plans, and education about climate change and energy). For example:

  • Should forward-looking considerations of distributive justice dominate work on climate justice, or is there room for other perspectives, such as procedural justice or backward-looking concerns about e.g. reparations? In which ways can these distinct justice concerns complement or be at odds with one another?
  • Assuming that the climate transition require a radical revision of social values, how can values change guide, but also obstruct, public discourse or policy development in this context?
  • What normative assumptions in climate economics and climate modelling are problematic from a moral or justice standpoint?
  • Is energy justice possible at all in a post-fossile scenario, or in a scenario of energy descent?
  • What are the main challenges for justice in current initiatives and programs for building climate resilience?
  • Which theories of justice are more suitable for guiding modelling, plans and policy-making in climate adaptation?
  • Challenges for climate justice in a context of fragmented, polycentric and global governance.
  • How can we integrate natural, technical and social perspectives in education about climate change? Can we identify assumptions or tendencies that currently hinder the prospects of integrated education that seems needed in this domain?

* Submission details. Please submit your abstract to j.c.canizaresgaztelu@tudelft.nl, in response to this email. The deadline for submissions is April 15th. We strongly encourage in-person participation, but there will likely be some spots for hybrid sessions in the program for a limited number of participants. We will know if we can accommodate a hybrid presentation only after we assess all submissions. Please do indicate in your submission if you can only present online, so that we do not fail to take this into consideration when scheduling the successful abstracts.


Bulkeley, H., Edwards, G. A. S., & Fuller, S. (2014). Contesting climate justice in the city: Examining politics and practice in urban climate change experiments. Global Environmental Change, 25, 31-40. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.01.009

Cañizares, J. C., Copeland, S. M., & Doorn, N. (forthcoming). Embedding justice considerations in climate adaptation and resilience building. 

Meerow, S., Pajouhesh, P., & Miller, T. R. (2019). Social equity in urban resilience planning. Local Environment, 24(9), 793-808. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2019.1645103

Olsson, L., Thorén, H., Harnesk, D., & Persson, J. (forthcoming). Ethics of probabilistic extreme event attribution in climate change science: a critique.

Shi, L., Chu, E., Anguelovski, I., Aylett, A., Debats, J., Goh, K., Schenk, T., Seto, K. C., Dodman, D., Roberts, D., Roberts, J. T., & VanDeveer, S. D. (2016). Roadmap towards justice in urban climate adaptation research. Nature Climate Change, 6(2), 131-137. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2841

Schlosberg, D. (2012). Climate Justice and Capabilities: A Framework for Adaptation Policy. Ethics & International Affairs, 26https://doi.org/10.1017/S0892679412000615 Táíwò, O. O. (2022). Reconsidering Reparations: Worldmaking in the Case of Climate Crisis. Oxford University Press. https://books.google.es/books?id=hs-ZzgEACAAJ

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