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THE POLITICS OF ENERGY: OIL AND BEYOND?
September 26 & 27 - Victoria, Canada

For photos from this event, go to our flickr page.

Energy is one of the key determinants of international conflicts and domestic politics. This conference will address energy as an engine of economic and political changes. In the 21st century we are faced with new challenges with respect to the current global energy regime: While the end of the age of oil has been predicted on various occasions, new technologies of exploiting gas and oil reserves seem to have altered this expectation. At the same time the ever more sophisticated exploitation of fossil fuels are accentuating global warming and environmental risks.

How to reconcile the continued reliance on fossil fuels for the world’s energy supply – and the drive toward new, renewable energies – poses one of the critical challenges for satisfying the planet’s growing appetite for energy. The global energy status quo proves to be unsustainable in light of the global environmental crisis and persistent energy poverty, with approximately 1.5 billion people still living without access to electricity. This conundrum has been driving politically contested policy decisions: Recent debates on pipelines in Canada and the USA have been about tolerable risk of transporting oil as they have been about how we envision a socially and environmentally sustainable energy policy for the future (the Canadian tar sands and the resource intensive fracking technology have been at the core of this debate in North America). This massive investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure risks a “carbon lock in” in which it is more difficult—technically and politically—to transition toward sustainable sources of energy.

This event addresses the fundamental challenges of an economically viable, socially just, and environmental sustainable energy strategy from a global perspective. What are politically promising initiatives in addressing these challenges both in the Western world and in the global south? How has the political struggle for a responsible and effective energy policy informed practices on the ground? Who are the drivers of change?

Download the program and the flyer of the event.

PROGRAM

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

1:00-1:30pm: Welcome and Introductions
With Oliver Schmidtke (UVic), Albert Scharenberg (RLS–NYC)
UVic Cadboro Commons Building (COM) | Arbutus Queenswood Room

1:30-2:45pm: Panel 1: Renewable energy and carbon pricing: Lessons from Europe?
Short introductions to dialogue: Inger Weibust, Hans Thie
UVic Cadboro Commons Building (COM) | Arbutus Queenswood Room

2:45-3:15pm: Break

3:15-4:45pm: Panel 2: Energy for whom? Energy poverty, energy equality, and development
Short introductions to dialogue: Marcela Olivera, Josua Mata, Heather Milton-Lightening
UVic Cadboro Commons Building (COM) | Arbutus Queenswood Room

4:45-6:00pm: Break

6:00-7:30pm: Keynote: Carbon Shift: The Coming Global Energy Transition
Presenting: Thomas Homer-Dixon
Respondents: Kirsten Zickfeld, Andrew Weaver, Clayton Thomas-Müller
UVic Bob Wright Centre (BWC) | B150

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

8:30-9:00am: Arrive at the University
with muffins and coffee
David Strong Building (DSB)

9:00-9:45am: Panel 3: Governing energy: international and local responses
Panel addresses: Sean Sweeney
C126

9:45-10:00am: Break

10:00-11:30am: Breakout session A: Global/UN Responses
Session moderator: Sean Sweeney
C130

10:00-11:30am: Breakout session B: Indigenous Perspectives
Session moderators: Clayton Thomas-Müller, Heather Milton-Lightening
C114

10:00-11:30am: Breakout session C: Water- Energy Nexus
Session moderator: Marcela Olivera
C118

11:30-11:45am: Break

11:45am-12:15pm: Final Reflections/Panel
C126

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