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Global Climate Justice: What Does It Mean?

Evening Program

Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0036
$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
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  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.


The question of how to meet the challenges of climate change continues to take on an increasingly larger role in the worldwide debate about the future of our planet. An array of proposed responses to that challenge have already come from governments, corporations, and countries. Beyond the merits of their effectiveness says Olúfémi O. Táíwò, an assistant professor of political philosophy and ethics at Georgetown University, there’s another question that requires consideration: Are our methods to confront climate change just?

Táíwò sees coordinated efforts and a willingness to re-evaluate social and political institutions as prime requirements for developing meaningful policies and strategies. He also finds that several issues complicate the advancement of a shared goal of fairness, justice, and effectiveness in combating climate change.

Among them are widely varying levels of economic development and developmental needs among nations; the legacy of colonialism, particularly as it affects indigenous peoples and the Global South; and the economic, environmental, and social implications of decisions on land use dictated by climate change, which directly impact some of the poorest and most marginalized members of the world’s population, particularly citizens of small island nations.

Táíwò provides an overview of these issues as he examines the range of pathways that are under discussion by communities, countries, and policymakers. He also discusses how some of our attempts to pursue greener or more sustainable responses to climate change could in fact lead to more inequalities and considers solutions that promote a future marked by global climate justice.


  • Once registered, patrons will receive two emails: one is an automatic email confirmation and the second will include a link to the Zoom webinar as a follow-up (usually given within 24 hours of registration).
  • NOTE: If you do not receive your follow-up email from Zoom, please email Customer Service for assistance.


This event is presented as part of the Smithsonian Earth Optimism Initiative.

Inside Science

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.