On January 25, 2024, Christiaan De Beukelaer, Senior Lecturer in Culture & Climate at the University of Melbourne and Fias/Iméra Fellow for 2023-24, organizes a film screening and seminar to discuss maritime transport for a liveable planet.

maritime transport for a liveable planet poster

What kind of maritime transport is needed to ensure a liveable planet?

25 January, 2024
6 pm – 8:30 pm at Iméra’s Maison Neuve meeting room

Shipping is crucial to global trade and human well-being in a globalized economy. With around 90% of internationally traded goods transported by sea, it is hard to imagine our lives without shipping. Though, increasingly, climate activists and climate scientists are calling into question the tacit assumption that the global economy can and needs to grow further. This does not only affect how much is shipped around the world. It also raises questions about what, where, and to whom goods are shipped.

This seminar explores the tensions between green growth and degrowth perspectives on global trade and maritime transport. In this context, Christiaan De Beukelaer suggests that the current climate objectives of the shipping industry (net-zero emissions by 2050) are necessary, but insufficient. Rather than reducing the climate and environmental challenges to GHG emissions, right now is the time to explore what kind of maritime transport is needed to ensure it supports the transition to a “safe operating space for humanity” grounded in a commitment to climate justice.

The seminar starts with the screening of De bois et de vent, a documentary produced at the end of a long ethnographic investigation, and intends to introduce some of the current potential, in India as in France, for a return of sailing to maritime commerce. This dual focus on wind propulsion in India and France offers a useful opening of the bigger questions around the political economy and political ecology of maritime transport in the Anthropocene.


18:30 – 18:35 Welcome adress

18:35 – 19:00 Introductory remarks to the film by Hubert Bataille, director/trainer at IRD and co-director of the film, followed by the documentary screening (FR, English subtitles)

19:00 – 19:10 Pause

19:10 – 19:40 Presentation by Christiaan De Beukelaer of a maritime transport that supports the transition to a “safe operating space for humanity” grounded in a commitment to climate justice

19:40 – 20:00 Q&A – Discussion with the seminar participants

Trailer of the film

About the organizer

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