Human rights and climate change symposium

9th human rights and science symposium

The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s National Academy, is delighted to host and co-organise the 9th human rights and science symposium, on this occasion human rights and climate change, as part of a series managed by the Human Rights Committee of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity, as it already affects temperatures, hydrologic conditions, ecosystem functioning, and agricultural productivity in many regions. These impacts constitute a serious interference with the exercise of fundamental human rights, such as the rights to life, health, water, food, housing, and an adequate standard of living. Most vulnerable groups whose fundamental rights are already at risk are particularly affected. Therefore, we must embed human rights discussions in our responses to climate change. More conversation is needed that connects human rights and climate change, both in academic and research circles and amongst the wider public, to enhance climate justice and to strengthen climate resilience. The Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Human Rights Committee of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina continue to contribute to global thinking on this matter.

During the symposium, experts from the fields of science, politics and society will discuss how climate change impacts human rights and what measures are possible and needed to strengthen the human rights of those affected. We will look to address implications for climate change research and look forward to welcoming an international audience to interactive sessions with keynote speakers and panellists. This symposium occurs over two days:

Thursday 28 October | 13:30-16:00 | Day 1

Effects of Climate Change on Human Rights:

  • Professor Marcel Jaspars FRSE, Vice-President International, Royal Society of Edinburgh;
  • Professor Dr Hans-Peter Zenner, Human Rights Committee, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina;
  • Dunja Mijatović, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe;
  • David R. Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment;
  • Professor Tahseen Jafry, Director for Centre of Climate Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University;
  • Prof. Dr Gabriele Hegerl FRSE, University of Edinburgh;
  • Dr Leslie Mabon, Senior Lecturer in Social Science, Scottish Association for Marine Science; Young Academy of Scotland member;
  • Children’s Voice Project, Young Academy of Scotland.
Book Day 1 via Eventbrite

Friday 29 October | 09:00-11:15 | Day 2

Responses to the Human Rights Implications of Climate Change:

  • Claire Doole, Communicator and former BBC Correspondent;
  • Andrew Gilmour, previous UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights;
  • Professor Dr Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann, Chair and Institute of Environmental Medicine, UNIKA-T, Technical University of Munich;
  • Professor Alan Miller, Chair of Scottish Human Rights Commission, Scottish Gov National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership, Professor of Practice in Human Rights Law, Strathclyde University;
  • Professor Dr Christian Baatz, Kiel University, Germany;
  • Bennett Collins, Deputy Director of the Third Generation Project, St Andrews University.
Book Day 2 via Eventbrite


Thursday October 28th - Friday October 29th, 2021