In mainstream European politics, for the moment at least, climate change denialism seems to be on the wane. In the face of widely publicized climate impacts such as coral bleaching in Australia one would presume that Europe would now be in the middle of an urgent public debate about what to do. Click here to register.
Yet even with most politicians seemingly backing the scientific consensus, just two years after the COP21 agreement in Paris, climate change and environmental sustainability still barely make it onto the political agenda.
By way of illustration, in the absence of any serious debate on climate change during this year’s Dutch parliamentary elections it fell to the weekly satirical news show, Zondag met Lubach, to highlight the bizarreness of this situation. His #klimaatkonijn campaign was an attempt to force discussion of party political differences on climate into the subsequent coalition forming process between the winning parties, including the Greens! And his discussion should of course not be limited only to the Netherlands.
You might be asking yourself, why this ‘head in the sand’ approach to climate change? Is this apparent collective ignoring of the facts a failure of political leadership or is it born more from public fatigue, indifference and fear. A form of crippling public cognitive dissonance that necessitates an entirely new approach. This raises an urgent question: if national political leaders are neither actively engaged nor committed to serious discourse, who can take on the mantle of climate leadership.
We hope to have assembled all the ingredients for a lively and informed debate. Our stellar panel includes Climate-KIC CEO Kirsten Dunlop, Director-General of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Hans Mommaas, and last but not least, Club of Rome Member and environmental activist, Wouter van Dieren. Jacob Bussmann, president of the alumni association will moderate the debate. Check out their biographies below.
18:15 - 19:00: Food and drinks
19:00 - 19:15: Intro and key insights from our three panelists:
- CEO Climate-KIC - Kirsten Dunlop
- Director-General of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency - Hans Mommaas
- Journalist, founder of Springtij and Club of Rome Member – Wouter van Dieren
19:15 - 20:10: Interactive discussion - moderated by CKAA president Jacob Bussmann
20:10 - 20:30: Climate-KIC competition pitches:
- Erik Faassen- ClimateLaunchpad
- Martine van Veelen – Climathon
- Peter Vangsbo – Open Innovation Challenge
20:30 - 21:30: Networking drinks
Location: The Garage Padualaan 8, 3584 CH, Utrecht Uithof
Date: May 24th
Time: Doors open 18:15, debate starts 1900 sharp, Close 21:30 Title: SPARK! lecture #3- On Climate Leadership
We hope to see you all there!