Radical Climate Justice for the Global Commons

A Nearly Carbon-Neutral Conference

Co-Sponsored by the UC Center for Climate Justice

Live from October 4-25, 2021

Scroll down to read the full conference Program,

and click here for the full list of Abstracts & Participant Bios.


Introduction:  Why are we here?  What is this conference for?

In August 2021, we put out the following Call for Participation:

In 2021 we find ourselves facing a decade at the climate crossroads.

On August 9, 2021 the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a major new report concluding that human activity has already warmed the planet by about +1.1 Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit), that there is more warming locked in for the next three decades no matter what we do, and that the window to respond and cut emissions enough to keep warming below +2C is narrowing fast (IPCC AR6 Summary for Policy Makers).

But the Nations, working through the UN climate talks under the rubric of the Paris Agreement on climate change, are promising emission cuts that are nowhere near hitting that mark (UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2020).

The upshot is — 30 years of UN climate talks and climate-focused social movements and activism have collectively failed to stop the climate crisis from spiraling out of control.

In this context, climate movements must radicalize and grow much more effective, quickly, lest the world cross over critical tipping points, with runaway warming destroying our global atmospheric commons and the various ecosystems whose carrying capacities and productivities constitute the shared heritage of all peoples.

How can and should the climate movements scale up their urgency, tactics, and strategies to achieve Radical Climate Justice for the Global Commons?

Complicating matters further, Radical Climate Justice for the Global Commons must contend with the fact that the climate crisis is connected to and exponentially worsens the intersecting crises of pandemic, capitalist globalization, rising authoritarianism, pervasive cultures of violence (including white and various other extremist and racist nationalisms, over-policing and militarized foreign polices), and the glaring racial divide revealed by the George Floyd uprising and the upsurge of Black Lives Matter in the United States, with variations on all of these themes around the world.

By listening to each other with care and holding spaces for generative conversation, ever-more effective actions, and visionary social movements, can we help radicalize the climate justice movement to figure out what will work under these circumstances?

Can we lift up and share the pluriverse of alternatives that now exist in the service of strengthening, supporting, and connecting each other for the actions we must discover and take in the 2020s, our common decade at the climate crossroads?

How can we make our movements, including those oriented around visions of climate justice, big enough, broad enough, intersectional enough, and urgent enough to slow down humanity’s accelerating appointment with the disaster?

Now it is October 4, 2021, just weeks ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow, and we invite you to scroll down, read through the Conference Program outlining our Panels, watch the prerecorded talks, and participate in the Question and Answer Dialogs that each of the presenters will be moderating.

When you get to a Panel on which you want to comment, you will be asked for your email.

Thank you for your Participation!  — we hope and expect that by doing so you will find knowledge and inspiration to further your own work on The Front Lines of Climate Justice, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing to confront the climate crisis and push back against the myriad social and cultural forces driving that crisis ever closer toward the tipping point.

Thank you again from the Organizing Committee:  Noa Cykman, John Foran, Lauren Gifford, Baron Haber, Emily Hite, Lizzy Privatera and Richard Widick

Conference Welcome

Welcome from EJ/CJJohn Foran

Welcome from the UC Center for Climate Justice, Tracey Osborne

Special Lecture

Limits, Degrowth, and Environmental Justice,” George Kallis


**** Click panel titles to watch the presentations, or click the presenters’ names for abstracts and bios.

Panel 1: Alliance-Building and Root Cause Analysis Towards Fundamental Systemic Transformation, Larry Lohmann Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle


Panel 2: Radical Climate Justice

“Feminist Climate Justice in a World of Crises,” Farhana Sultana

“Climate Finance and Capitalist Crisis: Time to Renew Demand for Carbon Debt and Reparations?,” Patrick Bond

From Decarbonization to Energy Commons?,” James Goodman

Intergenerational Equality Must be Foundational for Civilization or It Will Perish,” Rahul Basu


Panel 3: Global Crisis, Radical Justice

“It’s a Crisis, Not an Emergency: Climate Justice and the Critique of Exceptional Politics Amid COVID-19 and Capitalogenic Global Warming,” Reed Kurtz

“Scripting Climate Futures: Geographical Assumptions of Planetary Climate Planning,” Benjamin Weinger

“Responding to Abrupt, Irreversible Climate Change,” Guy McPherson


Panel 4: The Global Commons:  Land, Sea, Sky

“Managing the Deep Sea Minerals in International Waters: The Common Heritage of Humankind,” Rahul Basu

“Solar Dividends: Basic Incomes from Solar Energy,” Robert Stayton

“Resisting Toxiculture by Prioritizing the Resurgence of Indigenous Food Systems,” Andrew Smith


Panel 5: Energy Justice on California’s Central Coast: A Public Syllabus, Sage Gerson, Sarah Lerner, Amaru Tejada, Maria Zazzarino, Jéssica Malinalli Coyotecatl Contreras (UCSB Re-Centering Energy Justice Members)


Panel 6: Learning on Climate Justice for the Global Commons with Fishing and Tribal Communities in India, Expert Panel: Rajni Bakshi, Mayalmit Lepcha, Kumaribai Jamkata, Anil Tharayath Varghese, and Jesu Rethinam; Organisers: Namrata Kabra, Vedita Agarwal, and Abhayraj Naik, Initiative for Climate Action


Panel 7: Open Climate NowShannon Dosemagen, Evelin Heidel, Luis Felipe R. Murillo, Alex Stinson, Michelle Thorne, and Emilio Velis


Panel 8: Collaborative Event Ethnography: Interdisciplinary Analysis of COP Meetings, Simon Chin-Yee, Emily Hite and Lauren Gifford


Panel 9: The Future(s) of Eco Vista, Noa Cykman, April Zhang, Kris Daum, Elisa Privitera (Lizzy), and John Foran


Panel 10: Utopian Practices in Action for Urban Socio-Ecological Justice

“Panel Introduction,” Noa Cykman and Elisa Privitera (Lizzy)

“Live Talk on Utopian Visions, Practices, and Ecologies,” Noa Cykman, Elisa Privitera (Lizzy), Jussara D’Agostim, Margot Jeanne, and Cole Rainey

“Collective Agroecological City Councilor Mandate / Florianópolis, Brazil,” Marcos José Abreu

“‘Agro-Street’, Agroecology with Houseless People / Florianópolis, Brazil,” Mariane Gonçalves and Bianca Milano

“Fundación Cambugán – Mushuk Tukuy Agroecolocial Network / Ecuador,” Margot Jeanne Cohen, Carmen Mariscal, and Ana Mariscal

“Communa ASBL / Brussels, Belgium,” Maxime Zaït

“Eco Vista Food Forest / Isla Vista, CA, United States,” Tony Barbero, Ash Valenti, and Noa Cykman

“Land Occupations & Butterflies / Berkeley, CA, United States,” Cole Rainey

“Geloi Wetland — Sanctuary for Birds and Sustainability Agriculture / Sicily, Italy”

“Energy Transition and Envisioning Futures / Netherlands,” Simone Haarbosch, Sietske Veenman, and Maria Kaufmann

“Collective Closet / Florianópolis, Brazil,” Jussara Dagostim

Thanks are due to The UCSB Environmental and Climate Justice Hub of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, especially to the following individuals:  technical and administrative coordinator Baron Haber, Coordinator of the Conference Committee John Foran, Co-coordinator of the conference Richard Widick, and committee members Noa Cykman, Lauren Gifford, Emily Hite, Hannah Malak, and Lizzy Privitera.
A special thanks to Tracey Osborne, Director of the UC Center for Climate Justice, and professor of Management of Complex Systems at UC Merced, for their collaboration and generous co-sponsorship.