investigating the relationship of emergent global civil society to the institutions of global environmental governance

IICAT Public Scholarship Initiative

Richard Widick (IICAT:7/20/2015)

With support from the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies, in Fall of 2013 we launched a research collaboration titled The Transnational Politics & Social Movements of Climate Justice.  read more

The IICAT Public Scholarship Initiative is our effort at making the work of this research group more public and more effective by presenting it at public lectures, debating it at the UN climate talks, and releasing a report-style set of civil society prescriptions/interventions at a side event and a press conference at the UN climate talks at Lima, Peru, in December 2014.

Objective:  Public scholarship and participatory action research on the UN climate talks, the new treaty, and the emergent global network of climate action and climate justice movements that are trying to shape the treaty into a progressive, science-based and equitable solution.

Activities:  We dedicated the calendar year of 2014 to taking our studies of the UN climate talks directly public, as follows:


MATERIALITIES, a Global Studies Conference at the University of California, Santa Barbara, (February 28 – March 1, 2014)

View the Conference Poster and check out the Conference Schedule.  Our panel was titled “WHAT NOW for Climate Justice?  Designing Public Engagement in the Struggle for Climate Justice across Local, National, and International Scales.”  Presenters: John Foran, Patrick Bond, Richard Widick, Michael Dorsey,


RE-IMAGINING CLIMATE JUSTICE, Conference at the University of California, Santa Barbara organized, hosted by IICAT CJP.

Visit the conference Web Site, view the Conference Poster, read the Conference Schedule, and listen to the Audio Recordings of our panel, titled “What Now for Climate Justice Re-Imagining Civil Society and Social Movement Strategies at the UN Climate Negotiations.”  Presenters: Hilal Elver, Richard Falk, John Foran, Richard Widick


Report:  WHAT NOW for Climate Justice?  Debating Social Movement Strategies for the Last Year of Struggle over the Next Universal Climate Change Treaty

Members of the Orfalea Center Research Cluster and the IICAT Public Scholarship Initiative  compiled and self published their analyses of and prescriptions for social movement strategies for the last year of struggle over the Paris Climate Accord, or whatever the nations decide to call the next universal climate change treaty, which is being negotiated now for adoption in 2015 and implementation in 2020.  read the report…


UNFCCC Side Event and Policy Brief at COP 20 in Lima, Peru, December 2014.  Conceived in collaboration by Cristina Tirado, University of California, Los Angeles, John Foran, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Richard Widick, University of California, Santa Barbara, the Side Event ultimately partnered with IUNS, CARE, IRD, and Agronomes Vetenaires to co-produce the event and co-author the Policy Brief Climate Justice & Human Rights: Focus on food security, nutrition, health and gender.

At COP 20 in Lima, December, 2014, we produced an official Side Event on civil society strategies for ensuring that the new treaty institutionalizes policies that promote Intergenerational Climate Justice, with special regard to the areas of food, health, and gender equity.

Title:  Creating a climate for food and nutrition, health, gender equity, and human migration.

Background:  Climate and environmental change undermines the full enjoyment of human rights and have a direct impact on the health and the food and nutrition security of millions of people – particularly women and their children and future generations.  At the same time, women’s empowerment, engagement and transformational leadership are critical to build resilience to climate change and embark on sustainable development pathways that ensure global health, food and nutrition security and intergenerational justice.

Scope and Purpose and Objectives:  This event aimed to provide a forum to:

Explore a climate justice approach to achieving food security, nutrition, health, resilience, sustainability and gender-responsive policy options in the run up to Paris and the post 2015 development agenda

Discuss and develop key recommendations on what social movements, governments and UN can do about intergenerational climate justice for health, food security nutrition, gender and other issues.

The event launched a policy brief titled Climate Justice & Human Rights: Focus on food security, nutrition, health and gender.

Invited collaborators and speakers: Action Against Hunger (ACF) (co-organizer with IICAT); Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice (MRFCJ), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Global Gender Climate Alliance (GGCA), and the UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food.

 Outreach:  The event was recapped at a UNFCCC Press Conference on Friday, December 5, 2015.  It was reported in the UNFCCC’s official Stakeholders Forum magazine Outreach.

Read the Policy Brief, co authored by IICAT (Richard Widick):  CLIMATE JUSTICE & HUMAN RIGHTS: Focus on food security, nutrition, health and gender.

Read the report:  Climate Justice and human rights: Creating a climate for health, food and nutrition security and gender equity.


UNFCCC Press Conferences produced at COP 20 in Lima, Peru, December 2014

1. What Now For Climate Justice? Youth Movements from Lima to Paris.

2. What Now For Climate Justice? Social Movement Strategies from Lima to Paris.  SPEAKERS: Richard Widick, Michael Dorsey (Director, Sierra Club; Interim Director for Energy and Environment, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies), Jagoda Munic (Executive Director, Friends of the Earth International)

3. Climate Justice Approach to Health, Food Security, Nutrition, Gender, and Human Mobility (Christine Tirado, moderating)  Friday, December 5, 2014.

4. What Now for Climate Justice? Assessing Lima’s Outcomes; Identifying Social Movement Strategies for Paris.


In the span of time between COP 20 in Lima and COP 21 in Paris, 2015, we will revise and continue to present our the IICAT Special Report: What Now for Climate Justice? and discuss it in yet-to-be-determined academic conferences, public lectures, and publications.  We hope this self-critical approach will aid us in better producing IICAT’s next Special Report, for release in Paris at COP 21, November 30 – December 11, 2015.

Stay tuned …