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Lecture Series | 3 July, 16:15 | Molnar: Common misconceptions about sustainability: Examples from the European Green Deal | Durovic: Reflecting on the visions and practices of “environmental sustainability” between the European centre and its periphery

Where? H14, Universität Regensburg

When? Monday, 3 July 2023, 16:15-17:45

Shutting down the coal-fired power plants and developing renewables within the joint fight against climate change became the requirement for those at the periphery desiring EU membership. Through some of its influential member states, its legislation, and the UN policies such as the Agenda for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs), the European Union has been calling for an energy transition and actively envisioning a green and sustainable future across the European space. This imagined future is largely composed of the development of renewables and the optimistic preservation of the socio-economic system based on green growth models.

In this presentation, I will tackle a few questions and dilemmas I see as crucial in discussing an environmentally sustainable future across (and beyond) the European space. Firstly, as there are many concepts and measuring methods of environmental sustainability, I would like to reflect on the concept itself and its multiple facets. It is important to comprehend what kind of sustainability we discuss, fight for, and anticipate within the post-carbon European future. Then, I would like to reflect on the vision of environmental sustainability that those at the centre represent and question if they could serve as the “green role models” for the European peripheral space and beyond. My presentation will be backed by my own ethnographic research in the peripheral coal-mining town of northern Montenegro, showing that environmental sustainability outside the European centre is often differently perceived, practised and envisioned, and thus not necessarily overlapping with the EU legislation and vision of European decarbonized future.

This talk forms part of the lecture series Climate Change: Action and Law in the Global South and Beyond the West organized by Prof. Dr. Rike Krämer-Hoppe (DIMAS/Law) with Dr. Paul Vickers (DIMAS/ScienceCampus). Find the full programme here.