Category Archives: News & Events

Second International Conference

Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity

25-28 March 2010, Barcelona, Spain

Call for abstracts


(Español abajo, Français ci-dessous, Català a baix)

The second international conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity is planned towards the end of March 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. It is organised by the Institute of Science and Environmental Technology (ICTA), Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (, and the organization Research & Degrowth ( The conference follows the one held in Paris in April 2008 (proceedings available at

We invite you to submit abstracts of 400 words to the email by 30 November 2009.

The conference focuses on “socially sustainable economic degrowth”, and links economic, environmental and social perspectives, with an emphasis on practical policies and concrete proposals. Papers accepted will be presented as posters at the conference and included in the published conference proceedings. A list of the best papers will be selected by the scientific committee and included in special issues to be published in scientific journals. A special issue with papers from the 1st conference is under publication at the Journal of Cleaner Production.

The Barcelona conference will have a special set-up, the focus being on intensive workshops where groups of participants will discuss specific policy proposals and research priorities. Selected speakers will also give plenary speeches. The conference will mainly take place in English, and translation will be limited. More information about the conference is available at

Please forward this call to your networks. We would also be interested in contacts of people who wish to receive information on the conference. More precise information on venue and program will soon be available.

Please send abstracts with title, author(s), affiliation and address in word or open office without formatting or tabulation, named in the following way: nameofauthor_titleofpaper__degrowthconference.

We look forwards to your contributions!

Francois Schneider, Giorgos Kallis, Joan Martinez-Alier, Marta Conde

For more information click here.

Elinor Ostrom breaks Nobel mould

The economics profession needs to be shaken up. Ostrom’s Nobel prize should encourage us to take a fresh approach

Kevin Gallagher,
Tuesday 13 October 2009 17.00 BST

The economics profession is in such disarray that one of the Nobel prizes in economics this year went to political scientist Elinor Ostrom – the first woman to be awarded the economics prize. This is an excellent choice (in any year) not only because of what Ostrom has contributed to social theory but also because of how she goes about her work.

In a nutshell, Ostrom won the Nobel prize for showing that privatising natural resources is not the route to halting environmental degradation.

In most economics classes the environment is usually taught as being the victim of the “tragedy of the commons”. If one assumes, like many economists do, that individuals are ruthlessly selfish individuals, and you put those individuals onto a commonly owned resource, the resource will eventually be destroyed. The solution: privatise the commons. Everyone will have ownership of small parcels and treat that parcel better than when they shared it.

Many environmental experts also reject the tragedy of the commons argument and say the government should step in.

Ostrom says the government may not be the best allocator of public resources either. Often governments are seen as illegitimate, or their rules cannot be enforced. Indeed, Ostrom’s life work looking at forests, lakes, groundwater basins and fisheries shows that the commons can be an opportunity for communities themselves to manage a resource.

In her classic work Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Ostrom shows that under certain conditions, when communities are given the right to self-organise they can democratically govern themselves to preserve the environment.

At the policy level, Ostrom’s findings give credence to the many indigenous and peasant movements across the developing world where people are trying to govern the land they have managed for centuries but run into conflict with governments and global corporations. Some economists on the frontier of their discipline have started to use Ostrom’s insights in their work. In their recent book Reclaiming Nature: Environmental Justice and Ecological Restoration, James Boyce, Liz Stanton and Sunita Narain, show how communities in Brazil, India, West Africa and even in the United States have managed their resources in a sustainable manner when given their rightful access to their assets.

Indeed, Boyce and his collaborators find that communities should be paid for their services, since they can sometimes do a far better job than government or corporations at managing resources. Indeed, “payment for environmental services” has become a buzzword in development circles. Now even the World Bank has a fund for PES schemes across the world.

In terms of methodology, Ostrom proves her findings three times over. As opposed to many economists who never leave the blackboard, Ostrom often conducts satellite analyses of resource depletion to measure amounts of degradation. Second, she actually goes out into the field and performs case studies of human and ecological behaviour all across the world. However, she doesn’t stop there. When she gets back from her fieldwork she conducts behavioural experiments to see if random subjects replicate her findings in the field.

The Nobel committee should be applauded for recognising such rigorous theoretical and empirical work. Shining light on Ostrom is a call to economists to spend a lot more time analysing human behaviour, rather than assuming that we are all rational selfish individuals. It is also a call on economists to become more empirical and to find ways to validate their theories.

Adopting Ostrom’s approach will not only help us forge a better relationship with the natural environment, but will help us become more realistic about the economy in general. It’s time for a fresh approach to both. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009
Visit The Guardian and see other Gallagher columns:
For more on GDAE’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program:

Ostrom & Williamson win Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2009

Elinor Ostrom

Co-Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences 2009

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA

“for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons”

Oliver E. Williamson

Co-Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences 2009

University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

“for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm”

For more information you can check out the Nobel Prize website or the New York Times article by Louis Uchitelle.

SCB Conference July, 2010

The Society for Conservation Biology is holding its annual meeting in Edmonton early July next year and the Social Science Working Group is trying to ensure that economics are well-represented at the meeting again this year (the last time it will be in North America until 2014).

For more information click here. You can also contact Dr. Murray A. Rudd, Assistant Professor/Canada Research Chair in Ecological Economics at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland in Corner Brook, NL, Canada A2H 6P9. You may also contact him at 709-639-7595 or email.

International 350 Teach-In on October 22

The US Senate debates climate legislation this fall. Bring that debate­ and the eyes and ears of your Senator– directly to your school. On October 22nd, join the International 350 Teach-In, and invite a representative from the district office of your US Senator. We have a final chance now to engage students in the debate before the Senate acts­ or fails to act­ on legislation that will determine their future. And as educators, we have a profound responsibility to not let this moment pass.

The Teach-In is being held in conjunction with the International Day of Action called by Bill McKibben and his team at­ over 1450 groups around the world are taking part. Through the Teach-In, bring this critical conversation about a safe and prosperous future to campus.

Planning the Teach-In is simple: host a 90 minute session, with five to eight faculty speaking for 3 minutes each. We have a sample letter to your Senator and will have sample questions for when their reps arrive, as well as downloadable posters and other materials.

Learn more on our organizing call, Wednesday 9/23. The organizing conversation follows the National Climate Seminar, next week featuring Stanford climatologist, Dr. Stephen Schneider. Dr. Schneider will discuss the latest generation of climate model forecasts: is the outlook for the planet getting worse? Is it too late for meaningful action?

Later in the term, look to hear from Bill McKibben, the Honorable Edward Markey, Hunter Lovins, Andy Revkin and others. Click here for National Climate Seminar details.

Thanks for your ongoing work engaging students and citizens in these critical debates. And please register your own views with your US Senators every week.

Professor Eban Goodstein,
Director National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions

6th Edition of Biogas

The 6th edition of Biogas is taking place on the 1-2 October in San Francisco. The event brings together over 30 top level speakers who will share best practice case studies of agri, waste, landfill, sewage and wastewater biogas, providing an excellent platform for networking, knowledge transfer and new business development.

Learn from leading project developers, utilities, financiers and policy makers, including:

  • David Albers, President, BioEnergy Solutions
  • Philip Brown, President & Chief Executive Officer, Diversified Energy
  • Kevin Best, Chief Executive Officer, RealEnergy
  • Brian Gannon, President, Biogas Energy
  • Mitch Pratt, Senior Vice President, Corporate Secretary, Clean Energy
  • Ken Brennan, Senior Project Manager, Business Development, Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Martha Krebs, Deputy Director, California Energy
  • Jeff Reed, Director of Market Development & Emerging Technology, San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Chris Voell, Program Manager, EPA AgSTAR
  • Steve Wilburn, President, Firm Green Energy
  • William Zobel, Clean Transportation Program Manager, Sempra Utilities
  • Jason Patrick, Vice President, Merrill Lynch Commodities
  • Paul Douglas, Supervisor, Renewable Procurement and Resource Planning, California Public Utility Commission

Click here to view the event agenda
Click here to download a brochure

Don’t miss this opportunity to network with and question leading market experts during 2 days of high level debate Register Now!

Interdisciplinary Climate Change Research Symposium

Interdisciplinary Climate Change Research Symposium
13-20 March 2010
Saguaro Lake Ranch, AZ

Application Deadline
31 August 2009
Participation limited to thirty-four early career scholars
Airfare and on-site expenses supported by the National Science Foundation

The Dissertations Initiative for the Advancement of Climate Change Research (DISCCRS, pronounced discourse), connects natural and social scientists engaged in research related to climate change, impacts and solutions. The goal is to broaden perspectives and establish a collegial peer network to address climate challenges at the interface of science and society. A report and list of participants from the most recent symposium is available at

During the week-long symposium — held in the Tonto National Forest near Phoenix, Arizona — participants will present and discuss their research, hone interdisciplinary communication and team skills, and discuss emerging research, societal and professional issues with each other and with established researchers invited to serve as mentors. Confirmed mentors include Julia E. Cole (University of Arizona), Jonathan T. Overpeck (University of Arizona), Billie L. Turner (Arizona State University), and David A. Randall (Colorado State University).

Participation will be limited to thirty-four early career scholars identified by an interdisciplinary committee of research scientists based on review of submitted applications.

PhD requirements completed April 1, 2007 – July 31, 2009. Selection will favor applicants who plan to engage in interdisciplinary research careers in any subject within or relevant to climate change, its impacts and solutions. We encourage applicants from the natural and social sciences, economics, mathematics, engineering, or any other field so long as the research focus relates to climate change, its impacts or solutions. While the emphasis is on the U.S. research system, we welcome applicants from all countries who are interested in learning about the U.S. research system and connecting with U.S. researchers.

Symposium Application instructions:

Register your PhD dissertation and search for other recent climate change dissertations:
(over 900 PhDs have added their dissertation abstract on climate change to this database).

Electronic newsletter:
with jobs and other time-sensitive announcements is available to those who register dissertations.

Public webpage:
includes the dissertation registry, numerous early career resources, and symposium application instructions.


Ronald B. Mitchell, University of Oregon; Paul H. Yancey, Whitman College; Jennifer R. Marlon, University of Oregon; and Ruth A. Ladderud, Whitman College.

This Symposium is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation through grants to the University of Oregon and Whitman College.


For a printable color poster of information about DISCCRS V in PDF format, please go to: — please distribute widely.

Solar Economics Forum USA

The Meeting Place for U.S. Solar Policy and Business
Washington, D.C., USA: 9-10 September 2009

Last chance to save up to $222.00 – click here

The Solar Economics Forum USA conference and exhibition takes place in Washington D.C. on the 9-10 September 2009. Learn, network and debate with utility companies, project developers, investors, banks and policy makers at this leading solar finance event.

In a recent report by PR Newswire, Fresco Solar has announced that it will contrust solar photovoltaic ground arrays of one megawat or more in size anywhere in the USA for $2.95 per watt. This new breakthrough pricing, when coupled with Federal tax credits and other local initiatives such as the California Solar Initiative, brings solar photovoltaic power within the realm of grid parity.

Solar Economics Forum USA will provide you with an opportunity to:

  • Understand the economics of the U.S solar industry and why solar has been given a key role in the US response to the economic crisis
  • Compare the true cost curves for different technologies (PV, Thin Film, CSP, CPV)
  • Hear how manufacturing is being scaled up
  • Gain insight into which technologies are attracting investment and how projects can be financed in a difficult climate
  • Find out the details surrounding the US policy developments at federal and state level, what this means for solar businesses and how policy is driving the market forward
  • Understand how the U.S market has developed across utility, commercial and residential sectors

To download the full event brochure click here

Register today to take advantage of the earlybird discount – available until 22 July 2009.

Expert speakers include:

  • Gabrielle Giffords, U.S. Representative, D-AZ
  • Jigar Shah, Founder, Sun Edison, USA
  • Julia Hamm, Executive Director, Solar Electric Power Association, USA
  • David Arfin, Vice President, SolarCity, USA
  • Rainer Aringhoff, President, Solar Millennium, USA
  • Matt Cheney, Chief Executive Officer, Renewable Ventures, USA
  • Carrie Cullen Hitt, President, The Solar Alliance, USA
  • Shawn Kravertz, President, Esplanade Capital, USA
  • Nancy E. Pfund, Managing Partner, DBL Investors, USA
  • John Woolard, Chief Executive Officer, Brightsource Energy, USA
  • John Bartlett, Financial Analyst, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Adam Browning, Executive Director, The Vote Solar Initiative, USA
  • Jeanne Fox, President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, USA
  • Nancy Hartsoch, Director, CPV Consortium and Vice President, SolFocus, USA
  • Kevin Law, Chief Executive Officer, Long Island Power Authority, USA
  • Arnold Leitner, Chief Executive Officer, SkyFuel, USA
  • Brian Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, PrimeStar Solar, USA
  • Mike Nedd, Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management, USA
  • William Nesbitt, Managing Director, Good Energies, USA
  • Scott Stephens, Solar Energy Technology Program, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Darren Van’t Hof, Vice President, US Bancorp Community Development Corporation
  • Sanjay Wagle, Renewable Energy Advisor, Recovery Act Team, U.S. Department of Energy

Also announcing Solar Technologies 101:

An introductory to solar technology and markets for non engineers – 8th September 2009

Whether you are new to the industry or simply want to refresh and update your knowledge, this one-day training course will ensure you are up-to-speed with the key, fundamental aspects of the Solar energy industry.

You will learn about the different applications and technologies for harnessing the sun’s energy, including both photovoltaics and solar thermal. These will be placed in their relevant business context both within the energy market as a whole and by considering the commercial, economic and regulatory factors affecting both demand and supply.

For more information on training courses available click here

To register for training click here

Sponsorship Opportunities:

The Solar Economics Forum USA attracts top level executives and key decision makers in the industry. Sponsoring this event will enable you to showcase your leadership position within the US solar power industry. Our sponsors receive  unparalleled media and marketing exposure before, during and after the conference. Stay connected and partner with  the leading solar finance conference in the US.

For more information contact William Todd

Green Power Conferences

Desk: + 971 4 813 52 11 Mobile: +971 50 551 7234 | Fax: +44 207 900 1853

P.O. Box: 282750 | Dubai | UAE

Media Partners:
Alta Terra
Sun Wind & Energy
New Energy Finance
Green Tech Media

Founded in 2003, Green Power Conferences was the first dedicated company to offer professionally organised events focusing on the renewable energy, climate change and sustainability sectors. We have now welcomed over 10,000 delegates from 92 countries and built a global database of 400,000+ contacts. Our expertise lies in producing high quality, interactive conferences that provide ample networking opportunities for delegates and partners alike.
Each event is developed by a team of market research professionals who ensure our events provide in-depth discussions and the latest industry updates in these fast-moving sectors. With a global portfolio of 50+ events, Green Power Conferences is helping to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy, climate change mitigation projects and sustainable business practices from Rio to Hong Kong. We also walk the talk, by offsetting all our commercial activities through renewable energy projects around the world.

Join our Green Energy Training Group on LinkedIn – click here

Forthcoming Conferences

Optimizing Wind Power Performance, Houston, TX, USA, 2-3 September
Solar Economics Forum USA, Washington DC, USA, 9-10 September
Sustainability Stakeholder Engagement, New York, USA, 14-15 September
Carbon Markets USA, Washington DC, USA, 21-22 September
Forestry Carbon Markets & REDD, Washington DC, USA, 23-24 September
Next Generation Biofuels, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 28-30 September
Carbon Markets Turkey, South Caucasus & Central Asia, Istanbul, Turkey, 29-30 September

Biogas USA, San Francisco, USA, 1-2 October 2009
Carbon Markets Mexico & Central America, Mexico City, Mexico, 6-7 October
Biofuels Markets Mexico & Central America, Mexico City, Mexico. 7 October
Jatropha Markets Americas, Mexico City, Mexico, 8-9 October
Voluntary Carbon Markets, London, UK, 12-13 October
Carbon Capture & Storage Congress, Doha, Qatar, 20-21 October
Carbon Markets MENA, Cairo, Egypt, 27-28 October
BioEnergy Markets West Africa, Accra, Ghana, 27-29 October

Carbon Markets Africa, Cape Town, South Africa, 10-11 November


World Biofuels Markets, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 15-17 March 2010

Green Power Academy Courses:

Introduction to Renewables, London, 11-12 August
Introduction to Solar Technology and Markets, London, 13-14 August
Wind 101, A 1-day primer for non-engineers, Houston, 1 September
Solar 101, A 1-day primer for non-engineers, Washington DC, 8 September
Introduction to Renewables, London, 12-13 October
Introduction to Solar Technology and Markets, London, 14-15 October
Introduction to Renewables, Dubai, 15-16 November
Introduction to Solar Technology and Markets, Dubai, 17-18 November

For more information on our academy courses please visit

Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits Week

Call for Participants: The 1st Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits Week

A new opportunity for scientists to influence public policy

This August, AIBS – with the support of Event Sponsors: Sevilleta Field Station; Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry–North America; and the Natural Science Collections Alliance – will launch the 1st Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits Week, August 17-21, 2009.

The 1st Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits Week is an opportunity for scientists and graduate students, regardless of their policy experience, to meet with their members of Congress. AIBS will prepare participants for their Congressional meeting(s) via an interactive, online training session.

Throughout the week, participating scientists and research facilities (e.g., field stations, natural science collections) will meet with their members of Congress to show them first-hand the importance of sustained federal investments in biological science research and education. Participating scientists will either set-up meetings with their elected officials at their district office or may invite them to visit a research facility, laboratory, or classroom to experience first-hand how science is done and taught.

How to Participate

Participation is free, but registration is required and space is limited. The deadline for registering is August 5, 2009. If you would like to participate, please contact AIBS Public Policy Associate, Julie Palakovich Carr, at or 202-628-1500 x 225, to provide your name, affiliation, contact information (mailing address), and how you heard about this event. If you plan on inviting your members of Congress to your research facility, please include the mailing address of your facility in your correspondence.

Organizations wishing to support this effort may still become a Sponsor or Supporter of the event. Please contact AIBS Director of Public Policy, Dr. Robert Gropp, at 202-628-1500 x 250 for additional information.

Visit for the full announcement and more details,

Event Sponsors

– Natural Science Collections Alliance

– Sevilleta Field Station

– Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry – North America

A Policy Agenda for NAFTA

On Tuesday June 2 one of the 2 p.m. parallel sessions will feature Rethinking trade and environment:  a policy agenda for NAFTA. The session will be chaired by Kevin Gallagher.  Mr. Gallagher is the Director of Graduate Studies and Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University (B.A., Northeastern University; M.A., Ph.D., Tufts University).

This panel will serve as a round table among ecological economists and members of civil society who will discuss the need to reform NAFTA to make it more environmentally sustainable and provide specific proposals for reform.

Panelists will include Tim Wise, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University; Jeffrey Schott, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Margrete Strand, Sierra Club; and Mark Linscott, Office of the United States Trade Representative.

For more information on the 2009 USSEE Conference visit our website at  Online registration ends today at midnight PST.   Avoid long lines at the registration desk by preregistering today!