Sustainability Solutions Café - October 16, 2015

See the video of the presentation on Dartmouth You Tube.

“Big Problem, Bold Solutions: Leading Us Out of the Climate Crisis” Sustainability Solutions Café Series

Who is Responsible for Climate Change?  Perspectives from Science, Ethics, Law, and Policy

Friday, October 16, 2015

4:30 - 6:30 PM

Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall, Dartmouth College

Responsibility for climate change lies at the heart of societal debate over actions to address it. In 1992 the United Nations climate framework divided the world into two parts — developed countries, which had produced the greatest share of historic emissions and were given the task of preventing dangerous greenhouse gas levels, and developing countries, which were given few duties. The world's economy looks much different today than it did in 1992, thus challenging us to reevaluate the notion of "common but differentiated responsibilities" among nations.

Society can assign climate responsibilities in ways other than among nations. This symposium explores the conceptual territory of climate responsibility, and scientific, legal, ethical and policy bases for assigning responsibility to other entities - including the fossil fuel companies at the base of the carbon supply chain whose responsibilities are now being actively debated in shareholder resolutions and calls for institutional divestment. This symposium is one of the first events in a year-long series that will examine approaches to meet the climate challenge that are emerging from the scientific, policy, spiritual, youth, and business communities.

Moderator: Anne Kapuscinski, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Sustainability Science, Environmental Studies Program, Dartmouth College

PRESENTATION: Peter Frumhoff, Director of Science and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists, and a lead author of reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Peter Frumhoff’s presentation will draw upon a peer-reviewed research article that traced anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to fossil fuel companies and other major industrial carbon producers  (summary in this blog) and a new peer-reviewed article on their climate responsibilities  (Frumhoff et al. 2015).


Aine Donovan, Executive Director, Ethics Institute; and Adjunct Associate Professor, Tuck School of Business and Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College

Gus Speth, Senior Fellow, Vermont Law School; former Dean of Yale University School of Forestry and the Environment; former Administrator of the UN Development Program; founder of the World Resources Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council

Richard Howarth, Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies Program, Dartmouth, and Editor in Chief of Ecological Economics


Sponsored by the Porter Fund for the Sustainability Minor, the Environmental Studies Program, the Center for Business & Society at the Tuck School of Business and the Sustainability Office at Dartmouth College.