​​​​​​Wednesday, 26 October  

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Facilitator: Ms M Seyffert-Wirth
Time:​ 13:00-13:05

Climate justice vs Climate responsibility: A South-North perspective

Presenter: Prof OC Ruppel (MS Teams) Department Mercantile Law

Time: 13:10-13:40​

Climate change through its very nature is making human survival more difficult for people most vulnerable and dependent on natural resources. Climate justice demands that those (especially in the global South) who are least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, are not the ones suffering the most by the adverse effects of climate change. This entails a complex and interwoven bundle of legal, political, economic and philosophical issues. The legal issues inter alia deal with the question, weather (and how) states and companies (especially from the global North) can be held accountable for past, present and future contributions to or inaction against climate change and its consequences.

Voices from the bottom: A social media analysis of public veiws on the COP26 coal phase-out deal for South Africa​​

Presenter: Dr DA Okoliko, School of Public Leadership
Time:​ 13:45-14:15

The $8.5 billion deal offered by global partners to South Africa to reduce coal reliance during the 2021 COP26 renewed public debate on the need to transform South Africa’s largely coal-fired energy system to address emission concerns, energy deficits and deteriorating energy services. This study explores public sensemaking around energy transformation from a social media (SM) perspective. Although more citizens now turn to SM to express sentiments and opinions on public policy issues in Africa, the African SM space has received little attention in energy transition literature. The study provides an exploration of public perceptions of energy transition in South Africa using the case of Facebook comments on the COP26 deal. 3,980 Facebook comments on the news about the deal were content analysed in ATLAS.ti 22 using qualitative sentiment and thematic analytical approaches. Results revealed markers of delegitimising opinions and arguments about the deal, including concerns about corruption, distrust in public institutions, and negative perceptions about foreign actors behind the deal. It also highlights values, which motivate support for the deal, but these were swamped up by the prevalence of negative sentiment in the SM discourse. The paper concludes with important learning for energy transition policy in the context of South Africa.

In the Climate change fight: GIS and earth observation is might

Presenter: Prof HM de Klerk & Mr C Bailey, Department Geography & Environmental Studies
Time:​ 14:20-14:40

Climate change, the shift in long-term weather patterns across a region, has been accelerated by anthropogenic activities and is no longer a potentiality but an actuality. From excessive flooding to prolonged heat waves and monsoons, it’s having huge impacts on communities and environments. Historically, academia has focused heavily on the drivers and potential patterns of climate change. Recently, however, there has been a systematic shift toward evaluating not only process-patterns, but also environmental, social and ethical responses to climate change. This shift can, in part, be attributed to advances in the capabilities of geospatial data and technologies and the improved accessibility thereof. Consequently, such data and tools are becoming increasingly open source as the effects of climate change become more evident and the leveraging of a computer’s ability to process large amounts of data more salient. Therefore, the role of open-source spatial data and tools in promoting advancements in understanding the impact of climate change on people and their environment is key. This paper provides a survey of currently available spatial data and tools for evaluating climate change scenarios and impacts.​​

Closing, thank you & Q&A

Facilitator: Ms M Seyffert-Wirth

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