Climate justice refers to the pursuit of equal access to and benefits from a healthy environment. Regardless of race, economic status or geographical location. The rationale for climate justice is clear: the climate crisis hits the most vulnerable hardest, while they have often contributed the least to causes of this crisis. This lack of justice is at the heart of the problem that needs to be addressed. It is therefore no longer just about limiting greenhouse gas emissions, but also about repairing the damage that has already been done. So that future actions are fair and just. That is why we, as the Amsterdam Law Hub, are working with faculty and external partners on projects to change this. You can read more about this on our theme page.
To approach this topic from multiple perspectives, we discussed it with Hannah Prins (law student and lawyer at Extinction Rebellion), Raki Ap (Revolutionary & New Guinea expert, Groenlinks) and Jan van de Venis (Ombudsman for Future Generations and owner JustLaw). We also spoke with our associate professor of Sustainability and member of the UvA Sustainability Platform, Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh. She has an important task within the UvA, namely: the implementation of sustainability in the law education of our faculty.
The role of universities in climate crisis
Imagine: you study law and one day decide to use your legal knowledge to save the planet. Hannah Prins is one of those students, now regularly attends well-known Dutch tv tables like Buitenhof and Khalid & Sophie as well as holding an important position with climate group Extinction Rebellion. Her dedication to the cause continues, and she casts a critical eye on the role of universities in the climate crisis. How can education and research be used to address the climate crisis? And in what ways can academics and activists work together? Listen to it in episode 1!
The fight for Human Rights in West Papua
In the second episode, we spoke to Raki Ap, a powerful personality with a special background. Born in a refugee camp in West Papua, Raki is the son of a freedom fighter who paid for his ideals with his life. At a young age, Raki moved to the Netherlands with his mother, but his heart remains inextricably linked to his family and the people of West Papua. Driven by his father's mission, he works tirelessly for their rights, which are unfortunately being violated by climate choices of the West. Listen to Raki's impressive story and find out how he continues to work for a better world. Be inspired by his perseverance and passion to make a difference.
Rights for nature
We humans claim rights over nature, but what happens when nature gets rights of its own? And what does that mean for our rights? In this latest episode, we spoke to Jan van de Venis. Jan is a lawyer and advises politicians and the UN in the fields of human rights and sustainable development, among others. He is also Ombudsman for Future Generations, to ensure a liveable future for us and our children. His extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable source of insight into this, surely, complex matter. Jan explains the need for international cooperation to promote climate justice and emphasises the role of legal instruments in creating a just and sustainable future.