On the 6th of March 2018, Fossil Free Maastricht in collaboration with GroenLinks hosted ClimateKeys@Maastricht: music and dialogue on climate change! The build-up and excitement around the event attracted people of all ages, particularly those captivated by the fusion of climate change and music.
The ClimateKeys format is the brainchild of composer-pianist Lola Perrin, who views the music concert as a powerful avenue to discuss climate change in new and creative ways. The Fossil Free movement is a global initiative, with civil society groups demanding that institutions follow a green financial strategy, divesting from fossil fuels and unethical investments.
The evening started off on a melodious note as the bands “Kalika – a seamless fusion rooted in Indian classical and rock music” and “Freya – a lively collective playing sensual pop with jazz and baroque influences” entertained the audience with their songs.
Following the musical performances, Dr. Marjan Peeters, Professor of Environmental Policy and Law at Maastricht University captivated the audience with her speech ´The Power of Law´. Dr. Peeters emphasized the pressing need for a global society which drastically reduces carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, emphasis was placed on the need for Governments to phase out fossil fuels, expand forests, transform the energy and transport sectors, reduce meat consumption and push industries to use more renewables. Sewing law into the picture, Dr. Peeters highlighted how law can be a promising tool for governments to achieve climate justice; adopting laws and regulations over businesses, the transport sector, citizens, farmers and other industries. “In the event that a regulatory body is needed, the Court can always step in”. Dr. Peeters went on to elaborate on the Treaty of the European Union (EU), in which climate change is explicitly mentioned within it´s environmental chapter; thus it is the task of the EU to address climate change.
However, it is not easy to adopt stringent measures; our social legal cultures allow for only legitimate influences of governments. The EU emissions trading system is one approach to combat climate change, and is the EU´s most important political tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in cost-effective way. It is the world’s first major carbon market and remains the biggest one. Hopes are that other regions will adopt a similar carbon market in the near future. The evening ended with some thought-provoking questions, with Dr. Peeters engaging in a very informative and interactive dialogue with the audience.
The audience was treated to a closing piece by “Freya” and the floor was open to discussion between the diverse group of attendees. We look forward to Fossil Free Maastricht´s next ClimateKeys event in April.