Focused on the Future - S01 / E03

Law and A Sustainable World

How can the law ensure a sustainable and liveable world for future generations?

Climate change is a global problem that affects both current and future generations. Companies, governments, NGO’s and civilians have to play their role in preventing the impact of climate change. What role does the law play?

Due to a year long campaign, the UN General Assembly unanimously made a historic decision by requesting the International Court of Justice to issue an Advisory Opinion on the legal obligations regarding climate change. In the Netherlands, the Urgenda Foundation won their case against the Dutch Government. Royal Dutch Shell also lost their case about CO2 reduction. Not meeting the CO2 reduction targets is endangering the human rights of Dutch citizens.

In what way can the law protect against future damage and interests of the unborn? And to what extent can judges make decisions on issues with far-reaching consequences for the environment? How can law or the judge actually ensure a sustainable and liveable world for future generations?

Joining the conversation with our host Glenn van der Burg, this episode's guests include:

  • Elbert de Jong, Professor of Private Law at Utrecht University
  • Natalie Dobson, Assistant Professor of International & European Law and Climate Change at Utrecht University
  • Mathijs Boom, Lecturer of History and Philosophy of Science at Utrecht University

About Focused on the Future

Organizations and institutions often focus on the short term. People are tempted to get quick results. The long-term results are much less likely to be considered. Not considering the long-term results, can cause big problems when it comes to global issues like: climate change, poverty, deforestation, religious conflicts and migration. For these major issues we must develop long-term strategies.  In Focused on the Future, scientists and stakeholders talk about new views on big issues based on Longtermism.
This podcast is an initiative of Utrecht University

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