For further information contact:
Prof. Dr. Barbara Schramkowski, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg Villingen-Schwenningen,
Dr. Ingar Abels, Charité Universitätsmedizin
Socio-environmental transformation aims to build a viable, liveable society with relations, structures and economic forms that meet the needs of humans and nature instead of destroying the foundations of life. A major approach to such transformation is social justice. While social justice has long played a central role in social work, it must now be expanded to include the concept of climate justice. The climate crisis and the destruction of ecosystems are consequences of global social injustice and must therefore be seen as crises of justice. Global warming affects everyone. However, people who lack the resources to protect themselves and their social and environmental surroundings are far more vulnerable to the social and environmental impact of global warming. Intergenerational justice, which is an important focus in this regard, involves strengthening the positions of young people, for whom the Federal Constitutional Court ruling of March 2021 was ground-breaking.
By establishing ecology as an interdisciplinary concern, this expert group seeks to bring about a paradigm shift in social work. We wish to critique the current “climate regime” as a system of power and violence and to develop visions of human- and nature-friendly social regeneration and transformation. Political and activist work involving collaborations with social organisations and climate justice groups, for example, is an explicit part of the expert group’s remit. Other objectives include strengthening the ability of social workers to speak about environmental and climate crises, embedding the issue in the curricula of social work courses, and working towards including the rights of non-human beings in professional ethics.