This event will examine why transforming the various declarations, conventions and Protocols into practical policies remains unfinished business, and on how to move forward in an adverse context marked by the financial crisis and concerns about the consequences of economic globalization. The underlying premise is that neither scientific alerts nor ethical claims alone are convincing enough to induce collective action. We must outgrow the “age of innocence” and recognize that the financial crisis and its trail of unemployment, worsening poverty and international tensions put decision-makers under harsh pressures when real choices must be made.
The first roundtable will derive lessons from past experience on how scientific knowledge is received and incorporated in societies responses, and on how solidarity with future generations can be operationalized. The second roundtable will be devoted to the articulation of top-down search for reforms and bottom-up initiatives by local authorities to promote sustainable development.
Thomas Heller, Executive Director, Climate Policy Initiative