Climate Change, Energy, and Sustainability in the Pacific Region. Knowledge, Policies, and Transfers (1970s – Present)

19.04.-21.04.2021, Konferenz, online

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Doubtlessly, climate change and environmental degradation pose some of the most urgent problems of our time. However, while most nation-states and non-state actors acknowledge that immediate action is required and the consumption of fossil energy and a variety of other natural resources needs to be curbed drastically, success stories remain scarce. Reasons for this are manifold and stretch from national economic goals to geopolitical rivalries, from social structures to cultural preferences/habits.
Our conference will focus on the Pacific region, which over the last decades has turned into a powerhouse of the world economy. The ever increasing hunger of Pacific Rim countries like China, the United States, the Soviet Union/Russia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, and Mexico for natural resources to fuel this growth vastly affects mankind´s chances of finding sustainable modes of living on this planet and of mitigating climate change to levels defined as bearable according to the Paris Agreement.
The present interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore the historical development of attitudes towards climate change and environmental degradation within various Pacific Rim countries, as well as interactions between their climate, energy, and environmental policies. In which instances have the issues appeared on the agenda of political decision makers both on national and regional levels? To what extent have there been transfers and/or tensions between the countries of the Pacific region regarding the knowledge about these interrelated concerns and ways of handling them? What kinds of transnational cooperation and conflicts have taken place between Pacific Rim countries in the realm of energy policy and environmental preservation and to what extent have they been related to attempts to mitigate climate change?

Date and venue:
19-20 April, 2021, online


Conveners:
Sarah Beringer (German Historical Institute Washington D.C.)
Benjamin Beuerle (German Historical Institute Moscow)
Sonja Ganseforth (German Institute for Japanese Studies)
Yufei Zhou (German Institute for Japanese Studies)
in collaboration with the Max Weber Foundation Research Group at the National University of Singapore and the Max Weber Foundation China Branch Office in Beijing. This conference is part of the Max Weber Foundation’s collaborative research project “Knowledge Unbound” in the module “Interaction and Knowledge in the Pacific Region: Entanglements and Disentanglements”, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany).


Travel costs and accommodation will be taken care of by the Max Weber Foundation / German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Selected participants will be expected to pre-circulate written papers (3500 words) one month before the conference. A peer-reviewed journal publication is planned.

For further information click here.