Seminar is cancelled due to UCU industrial strike action
HERC Seminar: Air Pollution, Climate Change and International (In) Action
Reece Walters – Professor of Criminology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University, Australia
Tuesday 26 November 2019
The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes: Wilson A, MR01-MR03
Air Pollution, Climate Change and International (In) Action
In 2018 the World Health Organisation released its latest report on air pollution identifying that seven million people die annually as a result of poor air quality. Moreover, it is estimated that 90% of the world’s population is exposed to ‘dangerous levels’ of air pollution (WHO, 2018a). This is alarming news, given the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal number three seeks to ‘substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemical and air, water and soil pollution and contamination’ (WHO, 2016). In addition, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has publicly stated that…’air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalized people bear the brunt of the burden… If we don’t take urgent action on air pollution, we will never come close to achieving sustainable development.’ WHO, 2018b) This paper explores the political economy of global air pollution including an analysis of international trade that perpetuates and exacerbates emissions and the environmental injustices associated with global warming and air quality ill-health. It also draws on discourses of power, harm and violence to analyse air pollution and climate change within frameworks of green criminology and atmospheric justice.
Reece Walters is Professor of Criminology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University. His current research focuses on crimes and harms against the ‘essentials of life’, notably the ways in which states and corporations manipulate and exploit food, water and air for power and profit. He is the author of Eco Crime and Genetically Modified Food (2011), Emerging issues in Green Criminology (2013) with Tanya Wyatt and Diane Solomon, and Too Much, Too Little, Too Dirty – Crime and Water Security in the 21 St Century (2018) with Avi Brisman, Nigel South and Bill McClanahan. He is also pioneering new criminological initiatives with the publication of Southern Criminology (2018) with Kerry Carrington, Russell Hogg and Maximo Suozzo.