Conference – Overcoming Obstacles to Climate Change Mitigation: a cross-cutting approach by human and social sciences.

Overcoming Obstacles to Climate Change Mitigation:

a cross-cutting approach by human and social sciences.

International and interdisciplinary scientific conference 

23-24 May, 2024

Hybrid conference: online and in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)

Languages of the conference: English and French

Confirmed key-note speakers: prof. Linda Steg (University of Groeningen, the Netherlands); prof. Elodie Vargas (University of Grenoble Alpes, France)

Climate change today is undoubtedly a challenge for humanity. The IPCC reports highlight the numerous dramatic consequences of climate change; yet, the response of our societies has been slow, contradictory and elusive. Climate change and its consequences are particularly embedded in culture (Hulme, 2009; Fløttum, 2017; Zaccai, 2019), making it difficult for individuals and societies to manage these phenomena cognitively (Fløttum, 2018: 21): “[it] moved from being a predominantly physical phenomenon to being simultaneously a political, social, and cultural phenomenon – and thus, a communication challenge”. The humanities and social sciences are called on to make a crucial contribution to the understanding of how humans approach and make sense of climate change, in order to reduce the value-action gap. This objective can be reached, for instance, by using innovative forms of communication, together with other means, to identify entry-points for climate action.

Different human and social sciences, including linguistics (Fløttum, 2017 and 2018), information and communication sciences (Moser, 2016; Marshall, 2015), and social and environmental psychology (Gifford 2011, Stoknes, 2015), have addressed the topics of climate change communication and sensemaking. Also, there is still a “need for further transdisciplinary collaborations amongst environmental research fields” (Chen 2016: 108; Urbanska et al., 2019), and for translating the results of these collaborations into more concrete actions and devices.

Living with climate change has become a crucial issue in public and political debates worldwide. Over the last 30 years, awareness of the climate challenges faced as a society and as citizens has become increasingly clear. Climate change concerns all aspects of life and affects everything from personal lifestyle choices as consumers and political behaviour as citizens to how the fate of the planet and, indeed, the future of humanity are perceived. In addition to political measures, often related to taxes, energy, and huge infrastructure projects, the willingness and interest among individuals and local communities have become prerequisite for necessary collective and individual actions.

More information here

Fédération Romane de Sémiotique
Romance Federation of Semiotics
Federazione Romanza di Semiotica
Federação Românica de Semiótica