PROVIDENCE/BONN – A first-of-its-kind conference will bring together leading social scientists to explore obstruction of global climate action. Co-hosted by the Climate Social Science Network headquartered at Brown University and the German Development Institute (DIE), the conference held virtually on 8-10 June will coincide with the Subsidiary Bodies sessions SB-56 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Bonn, 6-16 June.

“What’s holding up progress on climate change is not science, solutions or technology, but vested interests,” said Timmons Roberts, Executive Director of the Climate Social Science Network. “This conference will analyze how and why climate action is being obstructed and how we can break through this logjam.” 

The virtual conference will engage key UNFCCC participants and international organization representatives, researchers, civil society and business actors for substantive science-policy-dialogue.

“Greenwashing and obstruction undermine trust in multilateral climate governance. It must be overcome to advance sustainable development and climate justice.” said Steffen Bauer, head of the Klimalog project at the Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik / German Development Institute (DIE).

Conference sessions include:

  • The Structure of Climate Obstruction and the Critical Role of Climate Social Science
  • Climate Negotiations and the Role of the Fossil Fuel Industry
  • Obstruction in the International Political Economy of Climate Governance
  • Loss and Damage: What Stands in the Way of Progress and What is Needed to Move Ahead
  • Reflections from the Science/Activism Frontier: The Case of Solar Geoengineering

The majority of the conference will be open to the public, discussing key issues of how climate action is being framed in public discourse, how past actions – and inactions – have brought about present challenges, and how they can best approach impactful change for the future at the local, national, international, and global levels.

The conference will have virtual event production provided by We & Goliath.

Watch a video and spread the word on Twitter at 

Learn more and register here 

Media Contact

Company Name
Climate Social Science Network / German Development Institute
Contact Name
Stephanie Hanson Demassa and Timmons Roberts
69 Brown Street
Rhode Island
Postal Code
United States

By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.