The Founders Seminar is the Geography and Environmental Studies Departmental Seminar series. Speakers are invited to present to an audience of students and faculty with an interest in Geography (human and physical) and Geomatics. The seminar is usually biweekly and starts a few weeks after the beginning of the term.

We start with a meet and greet usually in Room Loeb A220 by 14:30; light snacks are provided. Talks of around 40 minutes are followed by questions. Later, we often go to Mike’s place (campus bar) to continue discussions.

The name “Founders Seminar” was chosen around the year 2000 to honour the founding members of the relatively young department: those who were present from the 1950s and those who were part of the major growth cycle in the late 60s and 70s. These individuals started the Department and later formed the base for its application for the Ph.D. degree.

Founders Seminars

February 6, 2019: Christian Holz giving a talk titled “Fairly Sharing 1.5: Inequality, Fair Shares, and the Climate Emergency After Paris.

Abstract:  Climate science can inform us (albeit with uncertainty) what overall global level of greenhouse gas emissions reduction would be required to limit global warming to a certain temperature level, say the 1.5°C featured in the recent report of the IPCC [1]. However, the question of how this is global mitigation effort is to be shared among the countries and, ultimately, the people of this planet, is a question of ethics, politics and justice. The Paris Agreement’s [2] bottom-up approach combines with the severity of the 1.5°C challenge to make the equity and fair shares debate absolutely critical. This talk will present work [3], [4] that aims to shed light on this question, starting from the universally accepted ethical principles of the UN climate convention to build a normative framework that allows to identify “fair shares” of the global effort for countries or other entities. The results have fundamentally important implications for the structure of the world’s response to the climate challenge. Further, these “fair shares” can then be contrasted to the effort that countries pledged to undertake in the context of the UN climate negotiations.

Dr. Christian Holz is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton and the Senior Research Associate of the Climate Equity Reference Project. An active and long-standing participant in the UN climate negotiations, he aims to combine rigorous scholarship and effective advocacy to address the global climate crisis. His work includes research and advocacy in the context of international climate change politics, especially the multilateral UN climate regime and focusses on the role of equity as enabler of ambitious climate action while protecting the right of the world’s poor to a better life. He is a co-author of a series of annual equity and ambition assessments of countries’ climate pledges, whose first installment – Fair Shares: A Civil Society Equity Review of INDCs – was described as the single most influential climate justice intervention at the 2015 UN Paris Climate Summit (and even made it into the speeches of some Heads of States there). Christian is also a past Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada (2012-2014) and currently serves on the boards of Climate Action Network International and Climate Action Network Canada.

[1]       IPCC, “Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5°C Above Pre-Industrial Levels and Related Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Pathways, in the Context of Strengthening the Global Response to the Threat of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Efforts to Eradicate Poverty,” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva, 2018.

[2]       UNFCCC, “Decision 1/CP.21 – Adoption of the Paris Agreement,” UNFCCC, Paris, Dec. 2015.

[3]       C. Holz, S. Kartha, and T. Athanasiou, “Fairly Sharing 1.5 – National Fair Shares of a 1.5°C-compliant Global Mitigation Effort,” Int. Environ. Agreem. Polit. Law Econ., vol. 18, no. Special Issue: Achieving 1.5°C and Climate Justice, pp. 117–134, 2018.

[4]       CSO Equity Review, “After Paris: Inequality, Fair Shares, and the Climate Emergency,” CSO Equity Review Coalition, Manila, London, Cape Town, Washington, et al., 2018.

February 27, 2019: Jon Tunnicliffe (University of Auckland) “Insights into River Morphodynamics Following the Nov 2016 Kaijoura Earthquake (New Zealand) from Drone-based Photogrammetry”

March 6, 2019: Patricia Wood (York University) “From Occupy to Indigenous Politics of Refusal: Geographies of the Invisible and Impossible”

March 27, 2019: Human Geography Panel (Various) “Critical Approaches to Planning” (Jen Ridgley, Ted Rutland, Heather Dorries, Sheryl-Ann Simpson) *to be finalized