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CGD Annual Lecture 2015: Assessing the Paris Moment

CGD Annual Lectures
Tuesday 24 November 2015, 17:00 - 19:30 including wine reception
Business School Western LT (G.01)

‘Adequacy and Equity under Neoliberal Climate Governance: Assessing the Paris Moment’

Timmons Roberts, Professor of Environmental Studies, Brown University, USA

Centre for Global Development (CGD) with Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) and Sustainability Research Institute (SRI)


  • Professor Kate Pickett, University of York, Epidemiologist and co-author of The Spirit Level
  • Dr Rob Lawlor University of Leeds, Researcher on climate change,  ethics and responsibility

The talk will be followed by response from discussants and Q&A – drinks reception hosted by CGD

About the Speaker

Timmons Roberts is Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University, where he was Director of the Center for Environmental Studies from 2009 to 2012. He is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. His most recent book is “A Fragmented Continent: Latin America and the Global Politics of Climate Change” with Guy Edwards.

We were pleased to welcome Professor Timmons Roberts who visited Leeds prior to the Paris COP meeting on Climate Change. He addressed a lecture theatre of around 100 people from across the University as well as outside guests. Discussants were Dr Rob Lawler (IDEA Centre) and Prof Suraje Dessai (Professor of Climate Change Adaptation), and the lecture was chaired by Dr Julia Steinberger (SRI). We are grateful to Prof Dessai who stepped in at the last minute to replace Professor Kate Pickett who was unable to attend. Read a blog post about the event here.

What are the prospects for the Paris climate change negotiations?

Based on the new book Power in a Warming World (2015), this talk reviews Paris and previous rounds of climate negotiations by their level of adequacy to avert the worst impacts of climate change and whether their process and implications are equitable.

The voluntary INDC pledging process and the importance of bilateral and “minilateral” announcements reveal a turn to inequitable and undemocratic but somewhat more adequate outcomes, from exclusive inaction towards exclusive action.

The talk assesses some of the implications of the Paris moment for developing countries and civil society campaigners focused on fair burden sharing and democratic process.