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Climate Change, Energy, and Sustainability in the Pacific Region
Knowledge, Policies, and Transfers (1970s – Present)
April 19 - April 23, 2021
See also conference report on h-soz-kult (18 January 2022) by Albert Manke, Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington, University of California, Berkeley and Christina Philips, Max Weber Foundation, China Branch Office
Doubtlessly, climate change and environmental degradation pose some of the most urgent problems of our time. However, while most nation-states and non-state actors acknowledge that immediate action is required and the consumption of fossil energy and a variety of other natural resources needs to be curbed drastically, success stories remain scarce. Reasons for this are manifold and stretch from national economic goals to geopolitical rivalries, from social structures to cultural preferences/habits.
This conference focused on the Pacific region, which over the last decades has turned into a powerhouse of the world economy. The ever increasing hunger of Pacific Rim countries like China, the United States, the Soviet Union/Russia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, and Mexico for natural resources to fuel this growth vastly affects mankind´s chances of finding sustainable modes of living on this planet and of mitigating climate change to levels defined as bearable according to the Paris Agreement.
The interdisciplinary conference explored the historical development of attitudes towards climate change and environmental degradation within various Pacific Rim countries, as well as interactions between their climate, energy, and environmental policies. It concluded that the Pacific region is significantly affected by the impact of climate change. At the same time, trans-Pacific cooperation approaches and knowledge transfers are of paramount importance to limit climate change to a level that is sustainable for future generations.
Sarah Beringer (German Historical Institute Washington D.C.)
Benjamin Beuerle (German Historical Institute Moscow)
Sonja Ganseforth (German Institute for Japanese Studies)
Yufei Zhou (German Institute for Japanese Studies)
in collaboration with the Max Weber Foundation Research Group at the National University of Singapore and the Max Weber Foundation China Branch Office in Beijing. This conference is part of the Max Weber Foundation’s collaborative research project “Knowledge Unbound” in the module “Interaction and Knowledge in the Pacific Region: Entanglements and Disentanglements”, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany).