COP22: Understanding Climate Change from a Philosophical Point of View

When, local time: 
Friday, 11 November 2016 -
3:00pm to 4:30pm
Morocco, Marrakech
Type of Event: 
Category 7-Seminar and Workshop
Pedro Monreal Gonzalez,

UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Programme will organize a day of panel discussions in the context of the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), taking place in Marrakech, Morocco, from 7 to 18 November 2016. The panel discussions will take place throughout the day on 11 November 2016 in the UNESCO Pavilion.

This Panel will examine three key issues related to climate change.

These include responsibility, universality and systems-thinking as key concepts that have to be brought into the discussion, if one is to seize the philosophical meaning of addressing climate change.

First, no one would question today that humankind has a responsibility related to climate change. All scientists are clear: we have entered the Anthropocene epoch – an era in which human activities have significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystem. Our actions indeed have major consequences on the Earth.

Second, these consequences are necessarily of a universal and global scope. Worldwide, climate change is impacting seasons, the fauna and the flora, agriculture, health and economy. If the Earth’s ecosystem is disrupted or its balance broken, humankind in its totality will be directly threatened, without any society’s being spared because of its status, wealth or geographical location.

Finally, and by consequence of the two previous considerations, climate change puts into question our ways of living on Earth, obliging us to consider the Earth as a unified system. The phenomenon of climate change cannot be understood – nor resolved – unless we consider all basic aspects of human existence in their systemic relations, one to another: the economic, politic, social, cultural, technical/technological, geological, moral, and even aesthetic aspects of our ways of living have to be considered together. Indeed, our ways of living are not compartmentalized or by halves – living is the sum of these many aspects.

The event will also include the official Signature of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) of Morocco and the UNESCO Office for the Maghreb.