The 2023 Summer/Winter School – The Political Economy of Climate and Plastics Crises: Advancing Sustainable Solutions through the Right to a Healthy Environment

Date and time: Monday 11 September, 2023, 3pm-4.30pm CEST



The crisis of climate change and plastic pollution encapsulates the global environmental threats the world faces. The common drivers of these are unsustainable patterns of human consumption and production that underpin current economic developmental paradigms. With the threat of global temperature rising beyond 1.5ºC, and the catastrophic impact of plastic waste including on oceans, the human right implications cannot be overemphasised. Yet, global, and national efforts to address these challenges still fall far short of what is required due to a complex range of factors. Against this backdrop, this panel explores the political economy issues that are inherent in the elimination of plastic waste and climate change mitigation, and the opportunities provided through the prism of the right to a healthy environment in advancing sustainable and inclusive strategies for addressing the challenge of climate change and plastic pollution.


NameInstitutional Affiliation
Professor Engobo EmesehHead, School of Law, University of Bradford
Dr. Pedi ObaniAssociate Professor, School of Law, University of Bradford
Dr. Irekpitan OkukponLecturer, School of Law, University of Bradford
Piotr BarczakCircular Economy Programme Manager, African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) Foundation
Scott BacklerClimate Change Development Consultant
Dr. Adenike AkinsemoluDirector, Green Institute, OGEES/IAS Vanguard Fellow, University of Birmingham


‘Plastics and Human Rights: Questions and Answers’ (Human Rights Watch, 23 November 2022) accessed 14 August 2023

‘Plastics Treaty: Phase Out Fossil Fuels to End Pollution’ (Human Rights Watch, 15 May 2023) accessed 14 August 2023

Jennifer L. Lavers, Alexander L. Bond, and Charles Rolsky, ‘Far from a Distraction: Plastic Pollution and the Planetary Emergency’ (2022) 272 Biological Conservation 109655