By Aaron Cooper, Lecturer in Law, Coventry Law School
Similar to other academic institutions, Coventry Law School is focussed on the dissemination of our research. Research engagement can be a challenging endeavour, let alone during the current COVID-19 pandemic! Below I detail some of the different avenues I have used and currently am using to reach a range of different audiences.
Arctic Institute Podcast
I have recently had the pleasure of recording a podcast episode for the Arctic Institute Bookshelf Podcast series. The Arctic Institute is an independent, non-profit organisation that focuses on the complex issues facing Arctic security; their research seeks to identify, understand, and innovatively resolve these through rigorous, qualitative, and comprehensive research. This is at the core of the Institute to enable the development of solutions to challenges and injustices in the circumpolar north. I was invited to talk about my PhD research and some of the issues facing the Sámi in northern Scandinavia, with a particular focus on the key conflicts and how the law is addressing (or failing to address) these in light of climate change. In the podcast, I discuss how climate engineering in the Arctic is one of the new challenges facing the law, and how the international community must develop robust regulation before proceeding down a path that still contains a number of unknowns!
Listen to the podcast here.
In November 2020, I was invited to be a guest speaker at the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) Webinars Academy. I spoke for around an hour to 150 attendees about sustainable development and the Arctic, and how the changes in the environment are impacting the human rights of the indigenous populations in the area 66 degrees north. ELSA lined up a number of excellent speakers, ranging from academics to practicing environmental lawyers, even a former UN special Rapporteur, so it was an absolute pleasure to be there. The theme for this particular event was climate change and the environment. Climate change and environmental degradation are contemporary issues that are widely recognised as some of the greatest threats to life on Earth. It is transboundary and often complex, meaning the solutions which the law offers are interdisciplinary and require multidimensional thinking. Each day explored some of the many ways in which law can operate to protect the environment – from the human rights to economics to individual action to climate litigation dimensions. The organisation of webinars such as this is an amazing opportunity for students, and ELSA did a fantastic job of organising and communicating throughout.
Finland Consultation on Climate Change
Before Christmas 2020, as a member of the Center for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law at the University Eastern Finland, I participated in a consultation with the Finnish government concerning the reform of the Finnish Climate Change Act. Together with colleagues, we proposed ways in which to increase public participation within and further increase transparency of the decision-making processes. Access to information can often be difficult – so this was one of the key areas that needed to be addressed.
Arctic Justice Seminar
As part of the JUSTNORTH EU Horizon 2020 research project, I was invited to contribute a book chapter to a textbook on justice in the green transition. My chapter is related to my PhD research as it examines technological interventions into climate change and how the use of technology may impact the participatory rights of the Sami of northern Scandinavia. Final submission is due in September, but it is exciting to be affiliated with such a prestigious group of universities working on this project!
You can find out more about Aaron’s research through his Pure profile, which sets out his research interests, publications, and contact details. You can also find out more about Coventry University’s research through our dedicated research pages.