August 20th-26th, 2017
At the UN climate summit in Paris in 2015 the world has agreed to limit global warming well below 2° celsius above pre-industrial levels. Our main tool is a radical reduction in the emission of green house gases. If we do not acchieve this goal, we will face changes in the earth`s eco system that will spiral beyond our control. But it is not only about our future: climate change is already leaving its mark. People around the world experience it through air pollution, heat waves and other extreme weather events, new and re-emerging infectious disease and the long-term effects of sea level rise, impoverishment, resource scarcity, forced migration and violent conflict.
The UCL-Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change therefore concluded that climate change is a "medical emergency" and “the biggest global health threat of the 21th century." But the 2015 report also notes that tackling climate change could also be "the greatest opportunity for global health", since many policies that address climate change are “no-regret” options: they will reduce ill health, enhance resilience, alleviate poverty and address inequality. Yet, increasing levels of global warming could also undermine the last fifty years of gains in development and public health.
The health effects of climate change are unequally distributed. Rob Nixon called the „temporal and geographical outsourcing“ of environmental devastation to the most vulnerable populations and to future generations the „slow violence of climate change“. The countries in the Global South as well as the young and future generations (will) suffer most from its effects, though they have historically contributed the least to global warming and have had the least to say in international climate negotiations until the present date.
This year’s Summer School explores the relationships between climate change, society and health in light of a changing international political landscape. Participants from various countries are welcome to enter a dialogue with professionals from diverse backgrounds in order to highlight problems and discuss potential solutions.
During the week we will learn about the basics of climate science, the ways in which climate change is having and will have significant effects on human health. We will shed light on the history and the perspectives of international climate politics, climate justice, human security and how climate change can best be communicated. Most importantly we will address and discuss possible solutions, mitigation and adaptation strategies to global warming on different levels, and we will get to know concepts and pathways of decarbonisation and degrowth. We look at examples of „best practices“ in the health sector and will engage how we as citizens and members of the health community can have a positive impact.
Methods applied: interactive lectures, workshops, simulation games as well as skills training.