Thank you for joining us for the Planetary Health Equity Hothouse’s inaugural annual Policy Symposium, titled ‘Extinction thwarted? The nexus between climate change, social equity and health’.  

Humanity faces three major and interconnected challenges – climate change, social inequality and premature death and disease. Governance approaches to date have failed to address these problems, and in many cases have made the situation worse by approaching these issues and their common drivers in isolation from each other. For a governance response to be commensurate with the challenges faced by society, a more holistic approach is needed that brings disciplines and sectors together, and recognises the importance of addressing the common structural drivers of planetary health inequity. 

Hosted by Prof Sharon Friel, Director of the Planetary Health Equity Hothouse, with opening remarks from ANU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC, and the Honourable Ged Kearney MPattendees heard government, non-government and academic experts discuss the political, economic, and social dimensions of planetary health equity. Throughout the day we explored the role of different economic models, power in policy systems, and opportunities offered by optimising climate change mitigation policies for social and health goals.

The aim of the day was not to simply describe the problem but to identify the conditions that can enable the transformation of the system towards the promotion of the equitable enjoyment of good health for all within the context of a stable, sustainable ecosystem, and shift governance practices toward a more effective modern paradigm. The symposium comprises four consecutive sessions: Setting the Scene; Follow the Money; Advancing Progressive Policy, and Thwarting Extinction: Making it Happen.

Program

The full program, including speakers and agenda, is available here

 

Registrations for this event are now closed.

 

Getting to the venue

In the spirit of the event and Hothouse, we encourage you to use active and/or public transport. Car parking on ANU campus is quite limited. You can find further information about transport and parking on the university's website, and below. 

Walking Alinga to venue

Walking from Civic (Canberra CBD)

It is about 2kms from the Alinga St tram stop (Civic) to the venue. Allocate about 40-45 minutes for the walk and to settle into your seat before the starting time of 9:15am.

People riding bicycles
@CanberraByBike @parislord

Cycling

If you come by bicycle, there is plenty of bike parking at the entrance to the building (as well as a water bubbler).

Statue positioned as if riding a scooter

E-scooters

E-scooters are available through Beam Mobility and Neuron Mobility and are an efficient way to get from the uni’s surrounds to the venue. If you’re new to e-scooters and/or from outside of Canberra, make sure you’ve downloaded the apps first.

Toy car with Lego people as passengers

Driving

If you do need to drive, we encourage you to carpool. Visitors are able to park in Pay As You Go parking zones and Pay & Display zones after paying the appropriate fee to do so. There are a limited number of time limited parking bays at no charge. More information on PAYG.

Parking fees.

Map of visitors parking options.

The Planetary Health Equity Hothouse is the centrepiece of the Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship in Governance for Planetary Health Equity, housed in the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University.

Read here to find out more about our work. 

A series of webinars created by the Hothouse at ANU, discussing the intersections between climate change, inequity, and human health. The focus is on actions that enable transformative change away from the harmful consumptogenic system to systems that promote good health, social equity and environmental wellbeing.

This episode featured Dr Annabelle Workman, Research Fellow at Melbourne Climate Futures.

The health and other impacts of climate change highlight an imperative for urgent climate action. The health community continues to increase its efforts in raising the alarm on climate-related health impacts and emphasising the health and economic benefits of ambitious and timely action. Yet, projections based on the analysis of current policies and action see us remain on a dangerous path of global warming over 2°C. Using insights from the political economy literature, this seminar will explore what strategies might exist to secure the urgent action needed to develop healthier climate policies.

Event Speakers

Photo of Annabelle, smiling.

Annabelle Workman

Belle is a social scientist driven by the urgent need to develop healthier climate policies. With a background in political science and public health, Belle is now a Research Fellow at Melbourne Climate Futures, co-leading the Health, Wellbeing and Climate Justice Research Program with Professor Kathryn Bowen.

Meg Arthur smiling in front of plants

Megan Arthur

Megan is a Laureate Research Fellow with the Planetary Health Equity Hothouse. She is an interdisciplinary qualitative researcher working at the intersection of social policy and public health. She studies the politics of governance for health and wellbeing at multiple levels, with a particular interest in the social and environmental determinants of health equity.

Sharon Friel is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Health Equity.

A series of webinars created by the Hothouse at ANU, discussing the intersections between climate change, inequity, and human health. The focus is on actions that enable transformative change away from the harmful consumptogenic system to systems that promote good health, social equity and environmental wellbeing.

This episode featured Susan Park, Professor of Global Governance in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney.

Do international grievance mechanisms work? These non-legal, non-binding mechanisms are increasingly used to provide recourse for people suffering environmental and social harm from internationally funded development projects. But, to date, there have been no studies to show how these mechanisms make a difference to people using them.

Susan's research examines whether international grievance mechanisms provide redress for the environmental and social impacts of international development projects, with implications for planetary health. The World Bank lends approximately $20 billion annually to developing states to fund energy, telecommunications, and infrastructure projects to address poverty and improve peoples’ lives. Yet development projects may have dramatic and irreversible environmental and social impacts: loss of lives, livelihoods, and land, a breakdown in community cohesion, species extinction, habitat loss, and irreparable damage to local ecosystems. Despite the World Bank’s Inspection Panel operating for 30 years, we still do not know how it – or any other international grievance mechanism – contributes to improving development conditions. Many people harmed by international development projects choose these non-legal international procedures to have their voices heard often because legal and political options may not be available to them. Indeed, around the world people put themselves in grave harm from state and corporate reprisal for speaking out to protect their environment.

Identifying the use of international grievance mechanisms for addressing injustice is imperative given the rise of conflicts from development projects globally and the increasing number of environmental ‘defenders’ being killed to protect themselves and their environment. International development practices are also contributing to the crossing of known ecological system boundaries globally, such as climate change, habitat loss, and species extinction, the outcome of which is likely to “surpass known experience and which alter …almost all human and natural systems” (UNDRR 2019: 32).

Susan presented uses of an eco-justice frame to analyse grievances against international development projects financed by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to investigate whether they lead to improvements for people and ecosystems. An eco-justice approach combines the right of nature (to exist, repair, and regenerate) with environmental procedural rights for humans (to have access to information, to participate, and to have access to justice in environmental matters). Using an eco-justice frame for addressing grievances against development arguably can bring us closer to recognising both human and planetary health.

Event Speakers

Nick Frank

Nick Frank

Nicholas Frank is a Laureate Research Fellow with the Planetary Health Equity Hothouse in the School of Regulation and Global Governance. Prior to this, he was an Associate Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University. Nicholas specializes in the political economy of trade and investment governance.

Sharon Friel is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Health Equity.