Westminster Foundation for Democracy: Conference on Environmental Democracy

29 March 2022 - 31 March 2022  13:00 - 18:00

Virtual Event | Organised by Conference on Environmental Democracy | Held in United Kingdom in English
Defending against authoritarianism
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The global environmental crisis and rising authoritarianism are two of the most pressing challenges we face.

Despite overwhelming evidence about the impact of humans on the environment, and unprecedented international consensus on the need for urgent action, the world has so far failed take adequate steps to avert this crisis.

At the same time, democracy itself is under threat. The recent US-led Summit for Democracy aimed to galvanise action across the democratic world in response to creeping authoritarianism.

In this context, democratic governments must lead societies towards accelerated technological and behavioural transformation that leaves no one behind. Failure to respond effectively to the climate and environmental crisis risks worsening the already falling public confidence in the ability of democratic governments to deliver for citizens.

Democratic governments need to ensure that democracy delivers worldwide, both for citizens today and for future generations.

This conference will explore how we can get to work.


  • Day 1 (online) will provide an introduction to environmental democracy, including its philosophical and political origins, stretching back to the UN Stockholm meeting (1972). It will consider how environmental democracy has been enshrined in international agreements, such as the Aarhus Convention, and highlight the potential of the recently ratified Escazu Agreement in Latin America and the Caribbean. The final session will showcase the key findings of WFD-sponsored research on the environmental democracy approach and environmental governance advancement nexus by the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment of the London School of Economics.
  • Day 2 (online) will bring together civil society leaders, multilateral organisations and international experts to examine trends and challenges in the advancement of the three pillars of environmental democracy: access to information, access to decision-making and access to justice.
  • Day 3 (hybrid) will conclude the conference with a high-level deliberative session, focusing on donor and political leadership from across the world. In-person participants will contribute to, and endorse, a roadmap for immediate action to bring together environmental and democracy support organisations, with political leaders and donors.