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In 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we have only 12 years in which to take far reaching action to prevent the worst impacts of ‘dangerous’ climate change. But how might a fundamental shift - from business as usual to transformative change - be achieved?

Part of the answer may be revealed by examining recent events in London where, under the banner of the Extinction Rebellion, thousands of people committed acts of civil disobedience that seriously disrupted the capital for 10 days with the aim of forcing immediate government action to address climate change. Media attention soared and a climate emergency motion was passed by Parliament.

Drawing on a forthcoming publication in the Kings Law Journal that builds on social movement and environmental governance theory, this presentation examines Extinction Rebellion’s strategy, its emphasis on non-violent civil disobedience, and its impact before posing the questions: what, beyond grassroots politics, would a transformational movement built around climate change involve? How might broader webs of influence act as a catalyst for far-reaching action by nation states?

Tea & Coffee will be provided.

Professor Neil Gunningham is a lawyer and social scientist working in the areas of climate, energy and environmental regulation and governance. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and a Professor in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at the Australian National University. He is a past Fulbright Scholar and Distinguished Research Professor at Cardiff University. His books include Smart Regulation: Designing Environmental Policy, and Shades of Green: Business, Regulation and Environment. His current research is on the role of financial markets in climate change mitigation, and on the roles of social activism in averting a climate catastrophe.

Event details

SW1.17, First Floor
Somerset House East Wing
Strand Campus, Strand, London WC2R 2LS