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Call for Papers: Ethics, Energy and the Future: Technology for a Sustainable Society

June 24th-26th 2010
Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
Abstract Deadline: February 15th, 2010

Keynote Speakers include:
Simon Caney, University of Oxford
Stephen Gardiner, University of Washington
Axel Gosseries, University of Louvain
Jeroen van den Hoven, 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology
Andrew Light, George Mason University & Center for American Progress
Henry Shue, University of Oxford

Climate change is one of the most urgent problems the world is currently facing. It is commonly agreed that the world’s energy consumption lies at the heart of the problem. In order to meet the challenges of a sustainable lifestyle, multidisciplinary decisions with regard to energy provision and energy-consumption need to be made. This conference focuses on the ethical, political and economic issues of such solutions and aims at bringing together researchers from engineering sciences, philosophy and social sciences.

New energy technologies and policies raise various ethical and societal issues. Amongst them are questions relating to the just distribution of burden and benefits, public concerns and acceptance of various energy technologies, the risks and uncertainties associated with different technical options, and the appropriate criteria for assessing various technologies and policies. These aspects can be divided into four fields of concern.

1) Energy technologies and their ethical issues
This track focuses on the ethical considerations relevant to technologies that are proposed to deal with the problem of climate change. Discussions about energy systems, e.g. nuclear power, biofuel, hydrogen, wind and solar energy as well as technological solutions for climate change such as Carbon Capture and Storage and geoengineering are welcomed.

2) General ethical issues of sustainability and energy
This track covers general ethical issues of sustainability and energy, including questions of energy consumption, distribution and emissions entitlements. It also covers more fundamental philosophical issues such as what we owe future generations, who bears the responsibility for climate change and what the relevant moral principles are when determining long-term policies.

3) Ethics, energy policy and political philosophy
This track includes topics regarding the ethical evaluation of energy policies, such as those which provide ‘band aid’ solutions rather than long-term solutions. Other relevant issues might include the role of compensation/ education in the implementation of energy policies or the integration of philosophical frameworks (e.g. distributive justice) in political decision making.

4) Ethics and economics of climate change and energy technologies
This track welcomes papers that focus on ethical considerations in discussing economic aspects of environmental decision making. Contributions on cost-benefit analysis, the discount rate, emissions trading, risk and uncertainty in the case of future generations as well as other topics that deal with ethics and economics of energy are welcomed.

You are invited to contribute a paper in any of these four areas. Abstracts should be between 500 and 1000 words and should be sent to the contact address before February 15th, 2010. A limited number of scholarships to the value of €500 each will be made available to students who present a paper at the conference to help cover travel and accommodation costs; see the website below for more information:

Sustainability (at)


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