The war in Ukraine as magnifying glass of unsustainability?
In this event, we inquire into the root causes of the challenges resulting from the war in Ukraine by looking at current consumption and production patterns. We explore the psychological barriers that often keep us from facing the uncomfortable realities surrounding our lifestyles and engaging in activities that can support a sustainability transformation despite the multiple ongoing crises.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the urgently needed sustainability transformation face new challenges due to the Russian war against Ukraine. Especially in European communities, many initiated changes are currently re-evaluated under the unprecedented geopolitical situation ("Zeitenwende"), such as energy supply, mobility, and agriculture.
The German Environment Agency (UBA) considers the new global situation both a potential threat and an opportunity for the vision of a sustainability transformation (e.g., transition to renewable energy). Therefore, UBA launches an online discussion series to reflect on the implications of the current crises with international experts. The series is organized by the newly established International Academy Transformation for Environment and Sustainability (TES Academy) at UBA and the UBA Task Force ”Sustainability and the war in Ukraine”. The TES Academy aims to bring together international experts and practitioners on sustainability issues to advance transformation activities. The Task Force analyzes the implications of the war in Ukraine for environmental and sustainability policy.
In our third event, we inquire into the root causes of the seemingly new problems resulting from the war in Ukraine: Has the war created new problems to achieving a sustainability transformation? Or does it merely make visible the fragility and general unsustainability of current (especially Western) lifestyles? Do affluent lifestyles depend on the use of fossil fuels? And can these lifestyles be reconciled with a sustainability transformation that discards the use of fossil fuels? Based on these questions, we explore the psychological barriers that often keep us from facing the uncomfortable realities surrounding our lifestyles and engaging in activities that can support a sustainability transformation despite – or even because of – the multiple crises we are currently experiencing. We then bring the discussion back to the professional contexts of the audience and ask how public institutions and policymakers can act in light of these barriers.
Keynote and discussion with
Prof. Dr. William Rees
(former Director and Professor Emeritus at University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning)
Dr. Sylvia Lorek
(Head of Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) e.V.)
Prof. Dr. Tobias Brosch
(Professor at University of Geneva, director of Consumer Decision and Sustainable Behavior Lab)
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RECORDING NOTICE: This online event enables an attendee to participate through a personal device's microphone and/or camera. An attendee may elect not to participate through use of a microphone and/or camera. The election of an attendee to use a microphone and/or camera constitutes a release and waiver of rights in the capture of the attendee's image, likeness, and/or voice for the exclusive use by German Environment Agency (UBA).