University of Glasgow hosts major conference on world's energy future

Issued: Fri, 24 Aug 2018 16:15:00 BST

A major international conference exploring the social and cultural aspects of the world’s energy future will take place in Europe for the first time.

Hosted by the University of Glasgow, Petrocultures 2018 will look at the question of what comes after fossil fuels – a critical one for societies across the world.

The Energy Humanities is a growing field of academic study which supports research into the social and cultural implications of oil and energy.

Dr Graeme Macdonald, Associate Professor, University of Warwick, is a co-organiser of Petrocultures 2018 along with the College of Arts, from the 29 August – 1 September, said: “Glasgow is an ideal place to hold this conference. As a relatively late site of oil and gas extraction, Scotland as a whole has always been acutely aware of the inevitable ends of oil.

“There’s been a lot of focus recently on the reality of decommissioning and decarbonising North Sea petro-infrastructure, and the social and political consequences of this process.

“Attempts to become a leading site of renewable energy have been accompanied by bold climate policy initiatives – but these are still hotly debated. The Scottish experience is then one that parallels other key oil-sites, from Ireland, Canada and Norway, to the Netherlands and the City of London.”

As part of the four day conference, it will also look to the Scottish public to take part in a ‘town hall’ event at the University on how Scotland is contributing to this debate.

This event called “Life After Oil: Scotland’s Transition” on Wednesday 29 August 2018 will see members of the public invited to come to engage in big picture thinking to consider together the question of the coming energy transition.

Among the questions to be considered will be - are the very real challenges of living in a decarbonised, post-petrol world being properly addressed in Scotland? Can we really live without oil and what comes next?

At the core of the discussion will be the notion that the vital task of energy transition is not simply a technical one, it is, at heart, social, ethical, and cultural.

Also present at the “town hall” event will be key representatives from government, academia, industry, the creative arts and media and the community sector.

They will include Green MSP and Co-converer of the Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie, Claire Mack, CEO, Scottish Renewable and Mary Church, Head of Campaigns, Friends of the Earth.

Tickets are available for the “town hall” event being held on Wednesday 29 August 2018 from 7.30pm to 9pm at the University of Glasgow via Eventbrite