Event: Climate Change and the Voiceless
Seminar: Climate Change and the Voiceless, 16 June 2022, 4–6 pm, University of Helsinki, Porthania P673, Yliopistonkatu 3, 6th floor.

Future generations, indigenous peoples and the wildlife are among the most affected from the impacts of global climate change but the least represented in the governance structures affecting them. Consequently, Randall S. Abate refers to these groups as ‘the voiceless’. In his seminal book Climate Change and the Voiceless (CUP 2019), Abate explains how domestic and international law are beginning to recognize rights and responsibilities that protect the voiceless community. In this seminar we explore the situation of different ‘voiceless’ groups – the future generations, indigenous people, animals – in the European and Arctic contexts.

After Randall Abate’s keynote talk, Milka Sormunen zooms in on the rights and roles of the young people in climate litigation, followed by Charlotte Renglet’s examination of the issues and opportunities offered by climate litigations for indigenous peoples. Thereafter, Saskia Stucki addresses the harms of animal agriculture and the need for a collaborative political movement to defund meat. Lastly, Tiina Paloniitty discusses the lack of ambition the EU has had in securing the legal protections of the voiceless.

Randall S. Abate is the inaugural Rechnitz Family and Urban Coast Institute Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy, and Professor in the Department of Political Science and Sociology at Monmouth University.


16.15 Introduction
16.20 Keynote talk: Randall Abate ’Climate Change and the Voiceless’
17.05 Q&A
17.20 Young People in the Climate Litigation – Milka Sormunen
17.35 Indigenous Peoples and Climate Litigation – Charlotte Renglet (VUB)
17.50 Defunding Meat – Saskia Stucki
18.05 Panel Discussion + Q&A
18.45 Closure

All times are in Finnish summer time (UTC+3).

The event will be in hybrid (live & online) format.

Sign up here

If you are also attending the Theory of Animal Law conference, you can use the sign-up form of that conference to register for both events.

The event is arranged by research projects Aniwere – Animals Under a Welfarist Regime (funded by Academy of Finland and the University of Helsinki) and 2035Legitimacy (funded by Academy of Finland’s Strategic Research Council).