Book Launch – Author Meets Critique

During this book launch event, author Cornelia Helmcke will meet critics Bibiana Duarte-Abadía (Wageningen University) and Christopher Schulz (University of St Andrews) to discuss her recently published book Engineering Reality: The Politics of Environmental Impact Assessments and the Just Energy Transition in Colombia

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Engineering Reality offers insights into the power of environmental impact assessments in engineering a reality favourable to any investment, focusing on the highly contested environmental study of a large hydroelectric dam project in southern Colombia, El Quimbo. It compares the reality as presented in the dam’s environmental impact study with first-hand accounts from the local and affected populations and observations gathered through two periods of fieldwork in 2012 (before) and 2016-17 (after the dam started operating). Bringing the findings together with the wider conversations around environmental impact assessment , the book proposes a new framework to assess energy projects -Energy Data Justice- that regards the environmental impact assessment a strictly political tool aimed at reaching the just energy transition in Colombia and worldwide.

During this event, Bibiana – an expert in water justice and Colombian river governance – and Christopher – an expert on environmental values and global dam development – will reflect on the book’s contributions and offer additional insights on issues concerning just transitions. 

Join us in-person or online for a fascinating debate, coffee and cake.


Apr 18 2024


2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


S11, Swallowgate
Butts Wynd, St Andrews