The concept for the repository was born from a conversation between Dr Mary Robinson and Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University, when the former gave a lecture at the university, entitled: Climate Justice – Challenges and Opportunities
In her talk, Dr Robinson outlined the need for countries which have benefited most from fossil fuel-based economic growth to help the most vulnerable nations address climate change and to adopt a climate justice approach to this global challenge.
Noting that Scotland is one of the first countries in the world to adopt climate change legislation, she commented: “Enshrining your mitigation commitments in law demonstrates not just a desire to act but also a willingness to be held accountable by your citizens and the international community”.
Given this leadership by Scotland, Dr Robinson encouraged both government and civil society to “come a step further and become champions of climate justice”.
Speaking with Professor Gillies after her lecture, Dr Robinson observed that there was no single portal through which good quality information and knowledge-based research could be accessed on the wide variety of topics arising from the climate change agenda and, in particular, its social and economic impacts of climate change in developing countries.
Recognising the urgency of this need, Professor Gillies undertook to address this gap and tasked Professor Tahseen Jafry to lead a team of academic researchers in identifying how best this might be achieved.
Thus, the idea of the repository was conceived: to build a resource which might assist anyone concerned about or working on the ethics and socio-economic factors of climate change and their impact on humanity, especially the most vulnerable.
Its creation is a first not only for Scotland but for the world.