Environmental Politics and Governance (EPG) Network Conference

Published: 30 August 2023

The School played host to the annual conference which covered issues of environmental politics, policy, and governance

The annual Conference of Environmental Politics and Governance (EPG) network took place at the University of Glasgow, 11 - 14 July 2023, and hosted by our Professor in Environmental Sustainability & Democracy, Patrick Bayer. The conference included nine academic panel sessions and a poster session on various topics, including climate politics in Western democracies, firms in times of climate emergency, environmental policies in developing countries, climate finance, climate activism, politics of energy transition, and the politics of climate science. 61 delegates from across Europe and the United States took part in the conference. 

Environmental governance is a core challenge of modern times. While scholars have made impressive contributions to understanding environmental sciences, environmental politics and governance remain understudied. Indeed, progress on many environmental issues especially climate change is impeded by political factors and not by the lack of scientific knowledge. The reason is that environmental politics provokes the classic questions of who gets, what, how, and when.

The Environmental Politics and Governance (EPG) network provides a platform for scholars studying environmental issues to present research, exchange ideas, and collaborate. While many EPG members are trained as political scientists, EPG welcomes academics from any discipline who work on the issues of environmental politics, policy, or governance. 

The annual conference rotates between North American and European Universities, with previous conferences having been hosted by the University of Washington, Seattle (2015), ETH Zurich (2016), Indiana University, Bloomington (2017), Stockholm University (2018), University of California, Santa Barbara (2019), University of Oslo (2020, 2021, virtual conferences due to COVID), Penn State (2022). The 2024 conference will be held in Quebec City and hosted by UniversitĂ© Laval.

As well as the thoughtful and lively discussion, highlights of this year's conference included a Civic reception by Bailie Linda Pike on behalf of the Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow in the Satinwood Suite in Glasgow City Chambers, and a dinner in the majestic Grand Hall of Trades Hall.

On bringing the conference to Glasgow, Patrick said: "It was a great honour to welcome over 60 outstanding researchers to the University of Glasgow to discuss the politics and policymaking that underlie some of the most pressing environmental and climate challenges of our time."

Some of the delegates who attended commented:

"I loved the format and size of the conference, and the community was very welcoming. I also enjoyed the mix of people at different stages in their careers and the gender balance."

"EPG 2023 was a fantastic and enriching experience, thanks for such a seamless organisation!!"

"Excellent work organising and hosting at Glasgow. The venues and dinners were perfect. The discussions of the presentations were lively and constructive. Overall, this is an amazing conference to help further establish this field."

"Thank you so much for all the work that went into the conference, the warm welcome extended to all, and the wonderful host city of Glasgow. A truly enjoyable workshop with interesting colleagues."

The conference was generously funded by the School, by Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow Convention Bureau. 

Several people standing on stairs in a tiered system smiling

First published: 30 August 2023

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