Ethical Aspects of the Convention on Climate Change
First Series of Lunch debates in the Flemish Parliament
In order to stimulate public debate, viWTA (The Flemish Institute for Science and Technology Assessment, has invited six authoritative and interdisciplinary speakers to give a series of lectures in the Flemish Regional Parliament, and to publish their work on the ethics of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. It was no accident that the lectures and debates took place at the same time the Protocol itself came into force, the prerequisite number of signatories being reached and all remaining conditions being fulfilled.
In choosing the ethical perspective, viWTA hopes to encourage discussion in national and regional Parliaments, on the problems surrounding the legitimacy and equitable distribution of burdens and risks, as discussed and negociated at an international level (Kyoto). Problems also arise regarding the distribution of effort between domestic measures and the flexibility mechanisms of the protocol. These efforts are to be shared amongst societal groups, such as industrial sectors, public bodies and households; and adopting a fair distribution will be the crux of the matter. As a matter of fact, Members of Parliament, concerned citizens and the media have shown a great interest in this subject, by attending the lectures chaired by Prof.em. E. Vermeersch, by actively participating and reporting on the public debates. The collection of brilliant essays on the Kyoto Protocol by J. Keulartz, F. Krause, R. Petrella, W. Sachs, E. Vermeersch, R. Weiler and H. Zwart, edited by Eburon, Delft, is stimulating further reflection as well as action.