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This is the third event in the In Focus Series: “A Feminist EU in the World?” In this event we zoom in on the EU’s policies on Climate Justice and climate change from an (intersectional) feminist perspective. Annica Kronsell, Andrew Telford, and Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh will explore the opportunities and pitfalls of EU climate change policies if carried out through a lens of Feminist Foreign Policy. The roundtable discussion will focus in particular on recent trends in global rights-based climate litigation, climate security, and gendered and racialized impacts of climate change policies and discourses.

Event details of A Feminist Foreign Policy for a Climate-Just Future?
Date 1 March 2021
Time 15:30 -17:00

Some EU member states – such as Sweden and France – have declared to pursue a Feminist Foreign Policy. In June 2020, the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy released a report, commissioned by the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, in which it argued for “A Feminist Foreign Policy for the European Union”. Among other things, such a Feminist Foreign Policy calls for a feminist political economy – denouncing unjust effects of neo-liberal policies –, disarmament, reversing militarisation, and prioritising human security and the climate crisis. These demands appear to be – at least – in tension with some of the EU’s recent policy proposals and practices such as in migration or security and defence.  

The report calls for the EU to step up its foreign policy efforts to address climate change and promote Climate Justice, as “[t]he climate emergency is already impacting the (human) security of people across the world, and in particular that of women in the Global South. This already reinforces structural discrimination of politically marginalised people and regions” (p. 48). In this moderated discussion, Annica Kronsell, Andrew Telford and Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh will scrutinize this idea of a feminist foreign policy for the EU in relation to climate change / Climate Justice, by exploring developments in (global) rights-based climate litigation, EU policies and climate security discourses from an intersectional feminist perspective.

Chair: Lara Talsma


About the speakers

Annica Kronsell is Professor and Chair of Environmental Social Science at the School of Global Studies of Gothenburg University. She is a political scientist who takes an interdisciplinary approach in understanding and tackling the environmental and climate problem. As such, Professor Kronsell has longstanding research and teaching experience in environmental studies, feminist theory (incl. intersectionality), climate and environmental transition governance, and peace and conflict studies. She currently leads the following projects: Gender Equality and Increased Energy efficiency in the Transport Sector (Swedish Energy Agency) and Intersectionality and Climate Policy Making: toward a socially inclusive welfare state (Formas).

Andrew Telford is Assistant Professor in European Studies with a focus on climate change and conflict at the University of Amsterdam (Faculty of Humanities). His research interests are broadly concerned with climate change politics, for instance, by looking at how debates on climate-induced migration are linked to religious and racial identities, specifically in the context of changing imagined geographies of ‘Europe’ in climate security discourses. In a recent publication he explores how racialised masculinities are constructed in climate security discourses (particularly in the hypothesised links between climate change and terrorism) and what the implications are of this for 'just' decision-making in climate security politics.

Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh is Assistant Professor of Public International Law. Her research broadly speaking focuses on the role of law in addressing sustainable development challenges. Her recent book, State Responsibility, Climate Change and Human Rights (Hart Publishing) explains when and where State action related to climate change may amount to a violation of human rights. In 2018 she received a NWO Veni-grant for her project Climate Justice through the Courts (2019-2021). This project uses socio-legal research to investigate the effectiveness and potential drawbacks of rights-based climate litigation.

About the series

This series Gender and Sexuality in European (Geo)politics brings together practitioners and scholars from different disciplines engaging both in conceptual and theoretical debates around feminist and intersectional theory, as well as discussing concrete policy debates linked to the role of gender, sexuality and intersectionality. The events will focus on topics including: projections of (racialized) femininities and masculinities in European identity, discourses and practices; gender and populism in Europe; gender and race in migration policy; gender equality in the EU, and the theory and practice of feminist foreign policy in the European context.

In Focus: A Feminist EU in the World

This ‘In Focus’ subseries zooms in on the European Union’s ambitions to become a feminist or gender actor in the world. The world faces increasing levels of poverty and inequality, rising militarism, protracted conflicts, and a pressing climate crisis. Women are affected disproportionately by these harms, while their involvement in decision-making processes to overcome these problems is marginalized at best. In fact, recent years have seen a massive encroachment on the rights of women, and marginalized groups, as well as backlash against feminist, human rights and climate justice activism. Feminist activists, scholars and policy-makers have long argued that there can be no peace and that these challenges cannot and should not be tackled without an intersectional feminist approach. In this series, we discuss such a feminist approach in relation to the EU’s external action.    

Series coordinators:

Pola Cebulak: Humanities Faculty, Department of European Studies and Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies

Hanna L. Muehlenhoff: Humanities Faculty, Department of European Studies and Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies

Lara Talsma: Law Faculty, Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) and the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG)