THE CORK CONFERENCE ON INTERGENERATIONAL CLIMATE JUSTICE
“Hope for the Future: System Change, Not Climate Change”
“Dóchas don todhchaí : athrú córais, ní athrú aeráide”
Date: Thursday, 21 October 2021 Time: 9.00 am – 3.15 pm
Venue: via Zoom
Organised by: The Social and Health Education Project (SHEP), Elders for Earth, the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles (OLA), Society of African Missions (SMA), the North Cathedral and Blackpool Parish Climate Justice Group, St. Anne’s Shandon Justice Group, and Eco-UNESCO.
Speakers: Our speakers include: Professor Peadar Kirby (UL and Cloughjordan Eco-Village), Dr John Sharry (Psychologist), Rachel Power (Irish co-ordinator, Climate Reality Project), Amy O’Brien (school student and climate activist), Theresa Rose Sebastian (student and co-founder of the Re-Earth Initiative), and a panel of speakers from the Global South including Evelyn Acham (Rise Up Movement, Uganda), Abigael Kima (Climate Activist,Kenya), and Bishop Kevin Dowling (retired) of Rustenburg, South Africa.
Chair: The conference will be co-chaired by Alicia O’Sullivan, a university student and climate activist, and Denise Cahill, Cork Healthy City Co-ordinator.
Why this Conference?: It has long been acknowledged that climate change raises issues of justice, since it is the poorest people, both globally and locally, who suffer first and most. But recently there is a growing realisation of the further aspect of injustice between the generations, highlighted so starkly by the words of Greta Thunberg to world leaders in 2018: “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes”. Her words have woken many people to the way in which our unsustainable way of life is leaving an impoverished, and in many places even unliveable, world to younger generations. This is starkly highlighted by the most recent IPCC report, which has declared CODE RED for our future.
Purpose and format of Conference: This conference is intended to encourage thought about how the systems we live in must change if we are to survive, and provoke constructive action toward possible solutions. It provides an opportunity for young people and adults to find inspiration to become agents of change, and provide steps towards personal and community action. The 2021 conference will promote the values of community, solidarity, and the common good as we face into a perilous future.
The day is designed to help people face the reality of climate chaos, to cope with the feelings this engenders and to look constructively at how the system can change:
- Speakers from the Global South and Ireland will draw attention to the impact on people’s lives today.
- John Sharry will help to explore eco-stress.
- Peadar Kirby and Rachel Power will explore the need for civil society and provide a broader view,
- Eco-UNESCO will facilitate a workshop in the afternoon.
Audience: This conference will be genuinely intergenerational, with people of different ages sharing the platform and a mixed audience of school class groups individual adults and groups.