A climate change conference in Tarragona will bring together more than one hundred international experts

The CEDAT of the URV hosts the 1st Catalan Conference on Environmental Law with the theme "Climate Change: a view from Catalonia", from 17 to 19 January at the Catalunya campus

Antoni Pigrau, director of the CEDAT of the URV with Michel Prieur, from the University of Limoges, during the talk on the human rights of environmentally displaced persons.

More than a hundred national and international attendees will gather at the 1st Catalan Conference on Environmental Law with the theme “Climate Change: a view from Catalonia”. The conference will provide an open setting for multidisciplinary debate and exchange on climate change between academia, public authorities, businesses and social organisations. Fifty presentations and posters will be presented at the conference, which is being hosted by the URV’s Centre for Environmental Law in Tarragona from 17 to 19 January at the Catalunya campus.

Taking action against climate change is one of the biggest priorities facing the international community and public authorities, as is demonstrated by the Catalan Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change 2013-2020. Consequently, this international conference will feature sessions on different aspects of climate change, the strategies for mitigating it, the measures adopted by cities to adapt to it, the transformation of the energy model and the new Catalan law on climate change. There will also be discussions on the circular economy and sustainable development in the context of the climate crisis and on science, environmental conflicts, climate justice, environmental crimes and the implications of climate change for human rights and migrations.

Víctor Viñuales, director of the Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo, during the simultaneous session “Businesses and climate change”.

The programme also includes sessions on the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, agriculture and food, mobility and transport, corporate policies and responsibilities, and financial and taxation mechanisms.

In addition to the simultaneous sessions, there will also be three plenary sessions. On Wednesday, Michel Prieur, from the University of Limoges and president of the International Centre for Comparative Environmental Law, will give a talk on the human rights of environmentally displaced persons.

On Thursday, there will be a round table focusing on the Global Challenge of Climate Change: Overview and Perspectives and featuring a series of prominent speakers. Cristina Narbona, Spanish minister for the Environment from 2004-2008 and Spanish ambassador to the OECD (2008-2011) will give a talk on “Spain and the challenge posed by climate change”; Teresa Ribera, director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations and ex-secretary of state for climate change of the Spanish government, will give a presentation entitled “Climate: where are we now after the emergence of Trump”; Mar Campins, Jean Monnet Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Barcelona will speak on “The European Union and the climate change negotiations”; and Yayo Herrero, director general of the FUHEM and member of Ecologists in Action, will discuss ways in which organised civil society can respond to climate change.

Simultaneous session on “Arguments, individuals and organisations involved in climate litigation”.

Friday, the final day of the conference, will be devoted to a third plenary session on the Catalan strategy towards climate change, which will be moderated by Ferran Rodés, the president of the Sustainable Development Consultancy of Catalonia. Taking part will be Marta Subirà, minister for Sustainability and the Environment of the Catalan Government; Josep Puig, from Eurosolar – the European Association of Renewable energy, who will discuss the role the public can play in the fight against climate change; Maria Garcia, from Ecologists in Action, who will give a talk entitled “Climate change and air pollution: the same challenge” and José María Baldasano (UPC), with a presentation on how the climate is changing now and what we need to do.

The conference will also provide a forum for discussion of the research project “Global climate constitution: governance and law in a complex context”, which is being undertaken by a group of researchers at the CEDAT under the leadership of professors Jordi Jaria and Susana Borràs and funded by the Spanish Ministry for the Economy and Competitiveness as part of the State Programme for the Promotion of Excellence in Scientific and Technical Research for the period 2017-2019.

CEDAT, leader in environmental research

Created ten years ago, the URV’s Centre for Environmental Law in Tarragona (CEDAT) is now the leading research centre in environmental law in Catalonia and Spain and enjoys international recognition. This is the first conference organised by CEDAT and the aim is for it to become a regular international event supported by the department responsible for environmental issues of the Catalan Government.

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