International public panel looks at politics of climate change

An international public panel that will investigate the politics of climate change and the future of work will be presented by York University research programs at the University of Toronto’s Kruger Hall at Woodsworth College on Friday, Nov. 13.

The event, “After Paris: Politics, Climate Change and Labour,” runs from 4:30 to 8pm and features a panel of guest speakers that are intellectual, political and economic leaders, and international experts.

Roger Cox
Roger Cox

It is co-organized by Adapting Canadian Work & Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change (ACW) and Work in a Warming World (W3), two York projects funded by Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grants and directed by York University Professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé.

The panel will look at Canada’s position in its struggle to slow global warming in the context of a newly elected majority government; the politics of the nation may put climate policy front and centre for the first time in years.

Lipsig-Mummé, the event’s organizer, says the responsibilities of the national government will be discussed in relation to burgeoning legal activism elsewhere in the world, including the Netherlands and Pakistan where advocates have forced their governments to live up to their responsibilities to protect their populations from the devastation of global warming.

Joining the event as keynote speaker is Roger Cox, a lawyer with Paulussen Advocaten, Netherlands, who took the Dutch government to court for failing to protect its citizens against global warming. In June, he won that court battle, and the government says it will comply with the court ruling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.

This pivotal decision makes the state legally responsible to redress its inadequate protection from the dangers of climate change, and other countries are following suit.

The panel that follows includes: Bruce Campbell, president of Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Gordon Laxer, author of After the Sands; Josephine Yam, executive director of Alberta Environmental Law Centre; Sarah Pearce, UNISON (Trades Union Congress), U.K.; Warren Mabee, Canada Research Chair, Queens University; Larry Brown, national secretary-treasurer of the National Union of Public & General Employees; and others.

The international panel is free to the public, but advance registration is required. Register at

The program is supported by the Social Science & Humanities Research Council of Canada and York University, the Canadian Labour Congress and community partners.