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Climate Change, Inequality and Social Policy Seminar Series 2017/18

These seminars are held on Thursdays at 12:00-13:30 at STICERD in room 32L 1.04 (1st floor, 32 Lincolns Inn Fields, London), unless specified otherwise.

They are held in conjunction with the LSE's International Inequalities Institute and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

This seminar is organised by Professor Ian Gough (LSE).

For further information please contact Cheryl Conner, Email:, Tel: +44(0)20 7955 6562.

All are welcome, but please register your attendance with Eventbrite at the links provided for each seminar.

First seminar, Thursday November 9th 2017, 12.00 - 13.30

Making Social Housing Warm, Energy Efficient and Fair following the Grenfell Disaster

Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Head of LSE Housing and Communities

There is a huge imperative to insulate our homes to very high standards. We have around 9500 high rise blocks of six storeys or above that are cold and damp in our climate without cladding. There is fire-proof external insulation but it is expensive and has to be installed professionally. Why did this not happen to Grenfell Tower? The corner-cutting that led to 80 tragic deaths had huge long-term consequences that threaten the future of what might be done to make social housing viable so that it lasts into the future, houses people decently and protects our environment.

Venue: London School of Economics, Room 1.04, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PH

Second seminar, Thursday 7th December 2017, 12.00 - 13.30

Climate Change, Inequality and Time Use: Double-Dividend Approaches to Emission Reduction

Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology, Boston College, USA

Juliet Schor is the author of many books including 'Plenitude', 'The Overworked American' and 'The Overspent American'. She is a Researcher into time, consumption and sustainability.

In this talk Professor Schor will discuss a series of papers that look at two variables that have received little attention in the discussions of emissions reductions: domestic concentrations of income and wealth, and working hours. We find strong relationships between inequality, time use, and emissions at a variety of scales (global, OECD, and US cross-state). This line of research suggests the possibility of double-dividend policies that will reduce inequality, working hours, and emissions.

Venue: London School of Economics, Room 1.04, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PH

Third seminar, Thursday 15th February 2018, 12.00 - 13.30

Having Too Much: Developing a Riches line

Ingrid Robeyns, Professor of Ethics of Institutions at Utrecht University, Netherlands

This seminar will present the argument that it is not morally permissible to have more resources than are needed to fully flourish in life. It is instrumentally necessary to limit ‘riches' above this level to protect political equality and to meet urgent needs. Some indications are given on how such a riches line might be defined.

Venue: London School of Economics, Room 1.04, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PH

Fourth seminar, Thursday 1st March 2018, 12.00 - 13.30

A Green History of the Welfare State

Tony Fitzpatrick, Reader, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham

Tony Fitzpatrick is the author of several books including 'Climate Change and Poverty' and the 'International Handbook on Social Policy & the Environment'.

Politicians and policymakers can be accused of lacking awareness of the extent to which environmental issues and welfare policy issues share economic, political and social agendas.This paper tracks the post-1945 development of both subjects, focusing upon government (in)activity, and highlights the missed opportunities and occasional synergies which characterised the period up until the end of the New Labour era.

Venue: London School of Economics, Room 1.04, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PH

Fifth seminar, Thursday April 26 (tbc, this date may change)

Grassroots Innovations for Sustainability

Gill Seyfang, Reader in Sustainable Consumption, University of East Anglia

This seminar examines how community-led innovations for radical sustainable development can reach the parts of society other sustainability policies fail to reach. The presenter will show how a deeper sustainability vision is live and kicking across the country, inspiring local action and resistance. The presentation will include research findings on community energy initiatives, and discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by small-scale grassroots green initiatives, in seeking to build a more sustainable society.

Venue: London School of Economics, Room 1.04, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PH

Sixth seminar, Thursday May 24, 12.00 - 13.30

Is the "Sharing Economy" sustainable?

Koen Frenken, Professor in Innovation Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands

The sharing economy can be defined as the practice that consumers grant each other temporary access to their under-utilized physical assets. The recent rise of the sharing economy can be understood as occurring at the intersection of three salient economic trends: online peer-to-peer platforms, access over ownership and circular business models. I investigate the claim that it can make an important contribution to reducing material consumption and carbon emissions, but we must also consider its distributive impact. I then articulate three possible and contrasting futures for the sharing economy: capitalistic, social-democratic and cooperative.

Venue: London School of Economics, Room 1.04, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PH