Energy issues are of increasing interest globally in the face of rapid anthropogenic climate change. The ways in which energy systems and potential energy transitions are financed remain crucial to the energy worlds that come to fruition. Yet, energy finance remains critically underexplored in anthropology and across the social sciences.
Based in the Centre for Energy Ethics at the University of St Andrews, the goal of the Energy & Climate Finance Network (ECFN) is to facilitate collaborative ethnographic approaches to energy finance and climate change mitigation. The network aims to enable the co-production of novel collaborative scholarship and creative outputs that advance our understandings of finance in ways that contribute to scholarly, public, and policy discussions about energy and climate change.
The Energy & Climate Change Finance Problem
Meeting growing demand for energy consumption while addressing catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is amongst the most pressing existential global predicaments facing the world. Former Bank of England Governor and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, Mark Carney, recently suggested that financial infrastructures are vital to any energy and climate future(s) we might imagine and work toward. Bloomberg estimates that a global transition to a low carbon world will cost between $78 and $130 trillion USD by 2050. It is also estimated a minimum of $11 to $20 billion USD is needed annually to protect global urban infrastructure from imminent climate risks.
How might this be paid for? What are the broader socio-economic transformations that form part of these envisioned financial technologies? And how will this inform the futures that are brought into being?
These questions are of critical existential, social, political, and economic importance, yet there are no clear answers. Answers vary considerably: from the role of investors and capital markets to fund market-based solutions, to governmental interventions designed to usher change, to calls for a systemic restructuring of economies and societies.
The Goal of the Network
There are a growing number of centres, institutes, networks and initiatives dedicated to issues of energy and climate change but few that integrate issues of finance. There are also a growing number of climate finance initiatives, but none that integrate ethnographic perspectives and research.
The Energy & Climate Finance Network endeavours to fill this network gap. The overarching goal of the network is to facilitate conversation, collaboration, the co-production of ethnographic research, and the making of creative outputs on energy and climate change finance.
Join the Network
Members of the Energy & Climate Finance Network can take advantage of several benefits:
- Members can connect with scholars working in the same area – opening the potentiality for new collaborations, idea sharing and feedback.
- Members have the benefit of being connected with the Centre for Energy Ethics:
- Invitations to attend CEE special and periodical events such as PEP Talks and The Energy Café.
- A standing invitation to contribute to the Centre’s external-facing media outlets, The Energy Blog and the All About Energy Podcast, to increase the reach and impact of recently published works and on-going research.
- Members will receive priority invitations to attend and contribute to network events, conferences, and collaborative call-outs.
To join the network and sign up to the listserv, complete the form below.