Academic workshop on climate change mitigation and poverty reduction: Zero emissions, zero poverty?

Date: 
9 May 2016 -
9:30am to 3:30pm
Venue: 
Snape Boardroom, New Engineering Building, Upper Campus
Contact Person: 
Kim Coetzee
Contact Email: 

Workshop outline & preliminary program

This workshop aims to discuss the linkages between climate change mitigation and poverty reduction, which has triggered debate and caused confusion. This meeting aims to present recent research and bring the issues of poverty reduction and climate change mitigation closer, as well providing a networking opportunity for the people who are thinking about these issues. Some argue from a global emissions budget perspective that the poor remain detached from the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Others show that trade-offs between poverty reduction and climate change mitigation unfold in the decision-making in many developing countries, where needs for emissions and poverty reductions appear on the political agendas. The Framework Convention on Climate Change under the United Nations institutionalized the assumption of a trade-off from its early beginnings in 1992. The Energy Research Centre’s recent research has investigated how these trade-offs unfold in the case of South African climate policy. The research was conducted comparatively across three middle income countries, South Africa, Mexico and Thailand. The research presents how trade-offs unfold in public policy networks and how win-win situations emerge.

The main questions for the discussions are:

  • What do we know about the relationship between climate change mitigation and poverty reduction in South Africa and the world?
  • Are there always trade-offs or are win-win situations possible? How can we achieve both climate change mitigation and poverty reduction?
  • Where are the gaps in the research and what is the research agenda going forward?

Date: 09 May 2016
Time: 9.00 for 9.30 am to 3.30 pm
Venue: Snape Boardroom, New Engineering Building, Upper Campus
Please RSVP using this link: http://goo.gl/forms/c6wBFdckhj

Provisional Agenda

9.30 am: Session 1

Welcome and introductions

First speaker: Harald Winkler, ERC Director; "The concept of zero emissions and zero poverty in relation to South Africa." 
Discussant: Sue Parnell, African Center for Cities
Discussion & networking

Second speaker: Britta Rennkamp, Energy Research Centre and ACDI Fellow; "Trading off climate change mitigation and poverty reduction: the role of institutional change."
Discussants: Vinothan Naidoo, Department of Political Studies, UCT and Andrew Marquard, Energy Research Centre, UCT
Discussion & networking

1 - 2pm:  LUNCH (at ERC)

Session 2

Third speaker:  Sebastian Haunss, University of Bremen; "Trade-offs or win-win situations? Renewable energy programs in fossil fueled middle-income countries."
Discussants: Emily Tyler, Independent Economist and Karen Smith, Department of Political Studies
Discussion, networking and ways forward

3.30 pm: Closure