AAG Sponsored Sessions

EESG SPONSORED SESSIONS at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers


April 21-15, Chicago, Illinois


Plenary Lecture

Subterranean Territories of Oil Regionalism

Dr. Gabriela Valdivia, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Tuesday, 4/21/2015, from 4:40 PM - 6:20 PM in Gold Coast, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Abstract:

Geographers have sought to broaden energy research agendas by highlighting the importance of the political economy of fossil fuels and by paying attention to how fossil fuels move across space to assemble politico-economic structures, industrial cultures, and ways of life. Drawing on research concerning the subterranean frictions of oil and highlighting the various spatial axes of power at work in the operation of Amazonian oilfields in Ecuador, this presentation examines how subterranean territories contribute to the configuration of twenty-first century energy geopolitics in Latin America.


Business Meeting

The Energy and Environment Specialty Group Business Meeting

Thursday, 4/23/2015, from 11:50 AM - 1:10 PM in Regency A, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level


Tuesday Sessions


Paper Session

Title: Pathways to decarbonisation 1: Problematising low carbon

Tuesday, 4/21/2015, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in Columbian, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Organizers:
Andres Luque-Ayala - Durham University, UK
Harriet Bulkeley - University of Durham
Matthew Hoffmann

Abstract: 

This session seeks to examine, compare and contrast different approaches towards understanding the politics and geographies of pathways to decarbonisation. It focuses on the rationalities, techniques, practices, artefacts, and subjectivities that are being shaped and promoted in the configuration of low carbon sites and spaces. Whilst formal pathways to decarbonisation appear elusive, there is a growing set of dispersed initiatives experimenting with innovative ways of 'becoming low carbon'. Analysing these initiatives has revealed that decarbonisation is largely a political —rather than technical— process, which is not likely to be achieved through individual agency alone but through strategies that alter larger socio-political-economic structures and socio-technical systems. Taking pathways to decarbonisation seriously means a shift from an 'extractive' model of low carbon transitions (reducing emissions/point source pollution) to an 'embedded' model of decarbonisation as requiring systemic change. It also means an acknowledgment of decarbonisation as contingent and often unplanned, non-linear and uncertain, yet with an understanding of the need to foster supportive conditions and specific policies that facilitate imagining and implementing a low carbon future. The session examines how decarbonisation pathways are being made, both at material as well as discursive levels.

This specific sub-session (1) focuses on conceptual understandings and broad frameworks towards problematising low carbon. It examines, among other things how the process of promoting decarbonisation results in a change in the operation of power in society, in the nature of socio-political and economic systems, and has implications for issues of development and justice.


Paper Session

Title: Pathways to decarbonisation 2: the scalar re-making of low carbon

Tuesday, 4/21/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in Columbian, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Organizers:

Andres Luque-Ayala - Durham University, UK
Harriet Bulkeley - University of Durham
Matthew Hoffmann

Abstract:

This session seeks to examine, compare and contrast different approaches towards understanding the politics and geographies of pathways to decarbonisation. It focuses on the rationalities, techniques, practices, artefacts, and subjectivities that are being shaped and promoted in the configuration of low carbon sites and spaces. Whilst formal pathways to decarbonisation appear elusive, there is a growing set of dispersed initiatives experimenting with innovative ways of 'becoming low carbon'. Analysing these initiatives has revealed that decarbonisation is largely a political —rather than technical— process, which is not likely to be achieved through individual agency alone but through strategies that alter larger socio-political-economic structures and socio-technical systems. Taking pathways to decarbonisation seriously means a shift from an 'extractive' model of low carbon transitions (reducing emissions/point source pollution) to an 'embedded' model of decarbonisation as requiring systemic change. It also means an acknowledgment of decarbonisation as contingent and often unplanned, non-linear and uncertain, yet with an understanding of the need to foster supportive conditions and specific policies that facilitate imagining and implementing a low carbon future. The session examines how decarbonisation pathways are being made, both at material as well as discursive levels.

This sub-session (2) focuses on the varied geographies of pathways to decarbonisation, with an emphasis on the scalar re-making of low carbon. It examines how agents and authorities operating at different scales are re-making infrastructures in more or less low carbon ways. As part of this, the sub-session looks at how low carbon is made at neighbourhood, city and regional levels.


Paper Session

Title: Accessing the North: Environmental and Economic Change in the Arctic

Tuesday, 4/21/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in Stetson E, Hyatt, West Tower, Purple Level

Organizers:

Scott Stephenson - University of Connecticut
Kelsey Nyland - George Washington University

Abstract:

This session will explore recent developments in the co-evolution of environmental change and human activities in the circumpolar north.


Paper Session

Title: Pathways to decarbonisation 3: Translating and re-assembling low carbon

Tuesday, 4/21/2015, from 12:40 PM - 2:20 PM in Columbian, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Organizers:

Andres Luque-Ayala - Durham University, UK
Harriet Bulkeley - University of Durham
Matthew Hoffmann

Abstract:

This session seeks to examine, compare and contrast different approaches towards understanding the politics and geographies of pathways to decarbonisation. It focuses on the rationalities, techniques, practices, artefacts, and subjectivities that are being shaped and promoted in the configuration of low carbon sites and spaces. Whilst formal pathways to decarbonisation appear elusive, there is a growing set of dispersed initiatives experimenting with innovative ways of 'becoming low carbon'. Analysing these initiatives has revealed that decarbonisation is largely a political —rather than technical— process, which is not likely to be achieved through individual agency alone but through strategies that alter larger socio-political-economic structures and socio-technical systems. Taking pathways to decarbonisation seriously means a shift from an 'extractive' model of low carbon transitions (reducing emissions/point source pollution) to an 'embedded' model of decarbonisation as requiring systemic change. It also means an acknowledgment of decarbonisation as contingent and often unplanned, non-linear and uncertain, yet with an understanding of the need to foster supportive conditions and specific policies that facilitate imagining and implementing a low carbon future. The session examines how decarbonisation pathways are being made, both at material as well as discursive levels.

This specific sub-session (2) focuses on the processes associated to translating and re-assembling low carbon. It examines the blurred interfaces at play and the role of intermediation, focusing on the organisations and agents which, operating in particular contexts or across them (as e.g. national agencies, transnational networks), are serving as 'intermediaries' for low carbon transitions.

Paper Session

Title: Energy Mapping and Modeling I

Tuesday, 4/21/2015, from 12:40 PM - 2:20 PM in Stetson D, Hyatt, West Tower, Purple Level

Organizers:
Olufemi Omitaomu - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Kirby Calvert

Abstract:

Ensuring access to abundant and reliable sources of energy is a vital aspect in improving the safety, quality of life, and economic health of the modern world. Energy-related geospatial research allows stakeholders to efficiently identify new and existing energy resources, as well as the infrastructures necessary to deliver these resources to various end-users. Geospatial information and technologies are increasingly playing a vital role in integrated supply-demand modeling and energy system planning at local, regional, and national scales.  At the same time, geospatial research enables spatially explicit assessments of the social and environmental impacts and trade-offs associated with particular patterns of energy production, distribution, and use.  In these ways, energy mapping and geospatial modeling can bring together multiple stakeholders and are critical to facilitating informed decisions in the energy sector writ large.


Panel Session

Title: Forging Green Path Creation: EEG, GPNs and Sustainability Transitions

Tuesday, 4/21/2015, from 2:40 PM - 4:20 PM in Columbus H, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level

Organizer:
Stuart Dawley - CURDS, Newcastle University

Abstract:

Over the last decade or so considerable attention has been paid to the potential for innovation and industrial development in low-carbon energy and cleantech as a key source of regional economic growth. Policy is increasingly interested in supporting these industries and attracting them to specific regions and places. Yet, existing scholarly work is still rather unclear about the basic determinants of successful path creation in these sectors.
However, opportunities exist to bring together several parallel strands of work within economic geography to help better frame our understanding of the "new geographies of winners and losers" of energy transitions (Bridge et al 2013 p 337).  First, approaches within evolutionary economic geography (EEG) provide the explicit local and regional dimension so far lacking in the national-level focus of transitions work (Essletzbichler 2012).  Second, understanding the institutional contexts of enabling or constraining environments of growth paths in EEG may connect to notions of 'transitions spaces', niches and regimes as conceptualised in MLP transition approaches. Third, the development of local and regional growth paths within local-carbon energy technologies is not only a product of processes operating within regions. Links to Global Production Networks (GPNs) maybe crucial sources of extra-regional investment, technology and knowledge in developing the 'strategic couplings' involved (Mackinnon 2012). GPNs offer important insights for regional development as networks of energy production, knowledge and ownership become increasingly globalised.  
In conceptual terms, these parallel strands of work overlap but are rarely brought together. This panel session aims at bringing together experts from economic geography and transition studies to identify the new conceptual challenges arising from energy transition sectors and to discuss whether and how a more comprehensive approach to path creation in energy transition could be developed. It will address some of the questions posed below and identify key elements of an agenda that integrates theoretical and conceptual ideas from economic geography and transition studies.
How do path creation processes in energy sectors differ from other emergent sectors that have been in the focus of economic geography for a long time (such as biotech or cultural industries)? How can existing path creation concepts better reflect (embedded) agency in the path creation process? What role do place-dependent and extra-regional processes, such as GPNs, play in stages of path creation and development? How are the coupling processes between GPNs and localities forged? How do multi-scalar institutional contexts, environments and policy interventions in enabling/constraining growth? Why do cleantech sectors emerge in specific places while they fail in others? What explains their increasingly complex spatial setup and a recent shift of production (and innovation) activities to Asia?


Paper Session

Title: Energy Mapping and Modeling II

Tuesday, 4/21/2015, from 2:40 PM - 4:20 PM in Stetson D, Hyatt, West Tower, Purple Level

Organizers:

Olufemi Omitaomu - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Kirby Calvert

Abstract:

Ensuring access to abundant and reliable sources of energy is a vital aspect in improving the safety, quality of life, and economic health of the modern world. Energy-related geospatial research allows stakeholders to efficiently identify new and existing energy resources, as well as the infrastructures necessary to deliver these resources to various end-users. Geospatial information and technologies are increasingly playing a vital role in integrated supply-demand modeling and energy system planning at local, regional, and national scales.  At the same time, geospatial research enables spatially explicit assessments of the social and environmental impacts and trade-offs associated with particular patterns of energy production, distribution, and use.  In these ways, energy mapping and geospatial modeling can bring together multiple stakeholders and are critical to facilitating informed decisions in the energy sector writ large


Paper Session

Title: Mapping the Changing Arctic Environment

Tuesday, 4/21/2015, from 2:40 PM - 4:20 PM in Stetson E, Hyatt, West Tower, Purple Level

Organizers: Scott Stephenson - University of Connecticut
Kelsey Nyland - George Washington University

Abstract:

This session will explore new geospatial techniques for understanding the changing physical and social landscape of the Arctic.


Paper Session:

Title: Energy Mapping and Modeling III

Tuesday, 4/21/2015, from 4:40 PM - 6:20 PM in Stetson D, Hyatt, West Tower, Purple Level

Organizers:

Olufemi Omitaomu - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Kirby Calvert

Abstract:

Ensuring access to abundant and reliable sources of energy is a vital aspect in improving the safety, quality of life, and economic health of the modern world. Energy-related geospatial research allows stakeholders to efficiently identify new and existing energy resources, as well as the infrastructures necessary to deliver these resources to various end-users. Geospatial information and technologies are increasingly playing a vital role in integrated supply-demand modeling and energy system planning at local, regional, and national scales.  At the same time, geospatial research enables spatially explicit assessments of the social and environmental impacts and trade-offs associated with particular patterns of energy production, distribution, and use.  In these ways, energy mapping and geospatial modeling can bring together multiple stakeholders and are critical to facilitating informed decisions in the energy sector writ large.


 Wednesday Sessions


Paper Session: 

Title: Peer-Effects and Renewable Energy Technologies: Models, Policies, and Case Studies

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in Skyway 284, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level

Organizer:

Marcello Graziano - Scottish Association for Marine Science - UHI

Abstract:

Peer-effects have been recognized as one of the major drivers influencing the diffusion of new technologies, whether these effects appear in the form of spatial proximity (neighborhood effect) or social interaction (network effect; Rogers, 1962; Bollinger and Gillingham, 2013).
In recent years, several authors have been researching the role of peer-effects in the context of renewable energy technologies (RETs), such as McEachern and Hanson, 2008; Bollinger and Gillingham, 2012; Graziano and Gillingham, 2014; Müller and Rode, 2013; Rode and Weber, 2013. Using peer-effects, policymakers, marketers and, at last, communities, can improve the pace of their transition towards sustainable energy generation processes.
Because of their spatial and temporal aspect, neighborhood and peer-effects would greatly benefit from insights from geographical methods, whether these belong to spatial analysis, social geography or network analysis.
The suggested session offers an opportunity for researches to present new models, approaches, policy tools, and case studies on peer-effects in relation to the diffusion of RETs, whether centralized or distributed in nature. The works presented can either aim at identifying the existence of peer-effects, or at exploiting it to ease the diffusion of green technologies. No preference will be given to one technology over another.
Potential research topics may include but are not limited to:
•      Statistical modelling of neighborhood effects;
•      Case studies highlighting the presence of network or neighborhood effects in the context of RETs;
•      The role of peer-effects at different diffusion stages of RETs;
•      Analyses of policies exploiting peer-effects;
•      Policy tools aimed at identifying and exploiting peer-effects; and
•      Findings of peer-effects effects for specific RETs

 

Paper Session

Title: Geographies of Resilience 1

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in Grand A, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level

Organizers:

Sara Meerow - University of Michigan
Joshua P. Newell - University of Michigan
Emily Boyd

Abstract:

The concept of resilience has exploded in both academic and popular discourse on global environmental change. This rapid rise of resilience has been met with some critique, especially by geographers. Much of this criticism stems from a perceived failure to adequately address questions of resilience of what to what and for whom, thereby neglecting concerns about spatio-temporalities and power. Moreover, within the rapidly growing body of research on resilience there are many inconsistencies in how the concept is defined and measured. The papers in this session unpack the geographies of resilience and critically examine the theory.

Paper Session

Title: Energy Transitions I: Analysis

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in San Francisco, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level

Organizers:
Michael Minn - University of Illinois

Abstract:

Energy transitions are inherently complex and prolonged affairs, and there are numerous unanswered questions about the timing and nature of the transition to whatever comes after the fossil fuel era. These questions cross disciplinary and epistemological lines, making them particularly suited to exploration from the perspectives of geography. These sessions present research related to transitions in energy sources and uses, along with the social, political and/or economic implications of those transitions.

Paper Session

Title: Biofuels, Bioenergy, and the Emerging Bio-Economy I: Visions

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in 203 Classroom, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, 2nd Floor

Organizers:
Peter Kedron - Ryerson University
Jennifer Baka - London School of Economics
Kirby Calvert

Abstract:

The 'bio-economy' represents a socio-ecological system in which biological
material (e.g. plants) replaces fossil fuels as the underpinning natural
resource base for our societies and economies. The bio-economy includes
new forms of energy (e.g. biofuels), new intermediate inputs (e.g.
biochemicals) and new products (e.g. bioplastics). According to governments,
policy-makers and others promoting the bio-economy, it represents an
important sustainable transition pathway based on the renewable qualities of
ecological systems and the fact it does not compromise the longevity of
current ecosystem services.

At first glance then, the bio-economy promises a win-win solution to
ecological, economic and societal challenges, even if it does necessitate the widespread geographical reorganization of agriculture, natural resource
management, energy production and distribution, transport, innovation,
manufacturing and consumption. However, critics of the bio-economy have
noted a number of socially and environmentally regressive outcomes.

The purpose of this session series is to explore these issues from whichever
perspective. This session will focus on Visions of the Bio-economy:

· How and with what effect is space (scale, nature, ecology) politicized in
the construction and negotiation of the bio-economy?
· How are hybrid environmental-industrial policies used to promote the
bio-economy as a technological fix for climate change and a vehicle for
low-carbon growth?
· What are the links between the bio-economy and other socio-political
spatial strategies and transformations (e.g., the post-staples economic
transition; landscape conservatism; neo-liberalism; urbanization)?

Paper Session

Title: Geographies of Resilience 2

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in 203 Classroom, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, 2nd Floor

Organizers:
Peter Kedron - Ryerson University
Jennifer Baka - London School of Economics
Kirby Calvert

Abstract:

The 'bio-economy' represents a socio-ecological system in which biological
material (e.g. plants) replaces fossil fuels as the underpinning natural
resource base for our societies and economies. The bio-economy includes
new forms of energy (e.g. biofuels), new intermediate inputs (e.g.
biochemicals) and new products (e.g. bioplastics). According to governments,
policy-makers and others promoting the bio-economy, it represents an
important sustainable transition pathway based on the renewable qualities of
ecological systems and the fact it does not compromise the longevity of
current ecosystem services.

At first glance then, the bio-economy promises a win-win solution to
ecological, economic and societal challenges, even if it does necessitate the widespread geographical reorganization of agriculture, natural resource
management, energy production and distribution, transport, innovation,
manufacturing and consumption. However, critics of the bio-economy have
noted a number of socially and environmentally regressive outcomes.

The purpose of this session series is to explore these issues from whichever
perspective. This session will focus on Visions of the Bio-economy:

· How and with what effect is space (scale, nature, ecology) politicized in
the construction and negotiation of the bio-economy?
· How are hybrid environmental-industrial policies used to promote the
bio-economy as a technological fix for climate change and a vehicle for
low-carbon growth?
· What are the links between the bio-economy and other socio-political
spatial strategies and transformations (e.g., the post-staples economic
transition; landscape conservatism; neo-liberalism; urbanization)?

Paper Session

Title: Energy Transitions II: Analysis

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in San Francisco, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level

Organizer: Michael Minn - University of Illinois

Abstract:

Energy transitions are inherently complex and prolonged affairs, and there are numerous unanswered questions about the timing and nature of the transition to whatever comes after the fossil fuel era. These questions cross disciplinary and epistemological lines, making them particularly suited to exploration from the perspectives of geography. These sessions present research related to transitions in energy sources and uses, along with the social, political and/or economic implications of those transitions.


Paper Session

Title: Environment, Economy and Energy: Value of Regional and Local Solutions to Global Challenges

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in Roosevelt, Hyatt, East Tower, Ped Path

Organizers: Pankaj Lal - Montclair State University

Abstract:

The patterns of use and management of natural resources can have a profound impact on the environment. A set of regional and local studies is needed to delineate environmental impacts across rural and urban communities, and to develop appropriate policies to mitigate these impacts (Lal et al., 2011). However, public policies largely dictate the patterns of use and management of natural resources thereby influencing the lives of diverse stakeholders including future generations. This paper session attempts to highlight some of the environmental issues and concerns that have an affect on all of us. Bridge (2008) characterized this grouping of research activities as a desire to apply the theories and methods of economic geography to environmental issues. The session encompasses research papers that use a case study approach to discuss recent environmental works ranging from local to international scales. Emergent themes include the waste management and rapidly changing socio-ecological setting, environmental health and education activities geared towards environmental management, contributions of ecosystem services to the economy, the nature of biophysical limits to economic growth, the limits of energy savings through technological advances and renewable sources, the design of products and production processes that are eco-friendly and the evaluation of product and material life cycles, the interactions between the biosphere and the human economy and the design of physical indicators of sustainability and the physical symptoms of unsustainable systems.  We welcome theoretical or empirical papers pertaining to any of the above themes.

Paper Session

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in 203 Classroom, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, 2nd Floor

Title: Biofuels, Bioenergy, and the Emerging Bio-Economy II: Landscapes

Organizers:
Peter Kedron - Ryerson University
Jennifer Baka - London School of Economics
Kean Birch - York University

Abstract:

The 'bio-economy' represents a socio-ecological system in which biological
material (e.g. plants) replaces fossil fuels as the underpinning natural
resource base for our societies and economies. The bio-economy includes
new forms of energy (e.g. biofuels), new intermediate inputs (e.g.
biochemicals) and new products (e.g. bioplastics). According to governments,
policy-makers and others promoting the bio-economy, it represents an
important sustainable transition pathway based on the renewable qualities of
ecological systems and the fact it does not compromise the longevity of
current ecosystem services.

At first glance then, the bio-economy promises a win-win solution to
ecological, economic and societal challenges, even if it does necessitate the widespread geographical reorganization of agriculture, natural resource
management, energy production and distribution, transport, innovation,
manufacturing and consumption. However, critics of the bio-economy have
noted a number of socially and environmentally regressive outcomes.

The purpose of this session series is to explore these issues from whichever
perspective. This session will focus on Landscapes of the Bioeconomy

• What do bioenergy and biofuels landscapes look like, where are they emerging, what are their impacts?
• How might new technologies and new policies re-configure energy landscapes generally, and bioenergy landscapes in particular?
• Under what conditions, if any, is the bio-economy sustainable

Paper Session

Title: Geographies of Resilience 3

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 1:20 PM - 3:00 PM in Grand A, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level

Organizers:
Sara Meerow - University of Michigan
Joshua P. Newell - University of Michigan
Emily Boyd

Abstract:

The concept of resilience has exploded in both academic and popular discourse on global environmental change. This rapid rise of resilience has been met with some critique, especially by geographers. Much of this criticism stems from a perceived failure to adequately address questions of resilience of what to what and for whom, thereby neglecting concerns about spatio-temporalities and power. Moreover, within the rapidly growing body of research on resilience there are many inconsistencies in how the concept is defined and measured. The papers in this session unpack the geographies of resilience and critically examine the theory.

Paper Session

Title: Urban Power, Urban Politics: Reconnecting Electricity and the City (1)

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 1:20 PM - 3:00 PM in Grand E/F, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level

Organizers:
Jonathan Rutherford
Harriet Bulkeley - University of Durham

Abstract:

Electrification and urbanisation have a tangled and intimate history. Ever since the emergence of electric lighting and the Great Exhibitions of the late C19th, electricity has by turns illuminated and cast shadow over the urban landscape. At the same time, as historians of electrification have so clearly demonstrated, electricity systems have been shaped by, through and of the urban, spotlighting the mutual constitution of networks of light and power and of urban capitalist modernities and cultures (Hughes 1983, Nye 1990). Nowhere was this co-evolution more apparent than in Chicago where the development and expansion of a dense electricity grid went hand in hand with the production and reproduction of an energy-intensive Midwest urban industrial economy (Platt 1991).

Yet, once forged into the modern infrastructure ideal of uniform and integrated provision, such systems, and especially their undergirding power and politics, have tended to disappear from view (Graham and Marvin 2001). As a result, both in the public imagination and in our interrogation of the urban arena, it has traditionally been their absence, rupture and lack that have caused research and policy communities to turn to questions of how to plan the urban for electricity, and how such networks can provide for the city. Yet, in response to questions of climate change, decarbonisation, energy security, and new technologies for electricity provision on the one hand, alongside shifting forms of electricity use and practice on the other - from mobile telephones to electric cars, air conditioning to aquariums - it is now electricity's excess in the city which is also coming under question. This excess is framed as both a problem (cf. 'overconsumption', energy 'inefficiency') and a solution (cf. prospective benefits of all electric futures), prompting further interrogation over the work accomplished by competing visions and practices of the grid. Exercising power through electricity in the city involves not only providing access and service, but also managing demand; building grids, but also maintaining, dismantling and reconfiguring them in relation to constantly shifting forms, levels, times and rhythms of use and consumption. This politics of power enrols a wealth of actors and artifacts in new formations, whether these are termed 'smart grids', 'decentralised networks', 'prosumers' or 'practices'.

In this session, we welcome papers seeking to interrogate the politics of power in the city, manifest through forms of electricity infrastructure, provision, practice, culture and economy. The session will consider the ways in which urban politics and urban power around the globe are being reconfigured together in response to both the excess and absence of electricity in the city, in relation to wider problematics of climate change, security, inequality and demand, and the consequences for how we might understand the sites and spaces of the urban politics of transition and resistance.

Paper Session

Title: Energy Transitions III: Energy Justice

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 1:20 PM - 3:00 PM in San Francisco, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level

Organizers:
Michael Minn - University of Illinois

Abstract:

Energy transitions are inherently complex and prolonged affairs, and there are numerous unanswered questions about the timing and nature of the transition to whatever comes after the fossil fuel era. These questions cross disciplinary and epistemological lines, making them particularly suited to exploration from the perspectives of geography. These sessions present research related to transitions in energy sources and uses, along with the social, political and/or economic implications of those transitions.

Paper Session

Title: Biofuels, Bioenergy, and the Emerging Bio-Economy III: Transitions I

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 1:20 PM - 3:00 PM in 203 Classroom, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, 2nd Floor

Organizers:
Peter Kedron - Ryerson University
Kean Birch - York University
Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen - SUNY-Buffalo https://sites.google.com/site/eesgaag/aag-sponsored-sessions

Abstract:

The 'bio-economy' represents a socio-ecological system in which biological
material (e.g. plants) replaces fossil fuels as the underpinning natural
resource base for our societies and economies. The bio-economy includes
new forms of energy (e.g. biofuels), new intermediate inputs (e.g.
biochemicals) and new products (e.g. bioplastics). According to governments,
policy-makers and others promoting the bio-economy, it represents an
important sustainable transition pathway based on the renewable qualities of
ecological systems and the fact it does not compromise the longevity of
current ecosystem services.

At first glance then, the bio-economy promises a win-win solution to
ecological, economic and societal challenges, even if it does necessitate the widespread geographical reorganization of agriculture, natural resource
management, energy production and distribution, transport, innovation,
manufacturing and consumption. However, critics of the bio-economy have
noted a number of socially and environmentally regressive outcomes.

The purpose of this session series is to explore these issues from whichever
perspective. This session will focus on Transition to the Bio-economy:

· What are the factors shaping the spatial dispersion or concentration of
bioenergy, biofuels and the bio-economy?
· How are regional clusters of expertise converging / diverging as they
pursue innovations necessary for bioenergy and biofuels?
· What are the path-dependent, path-breaking and path-shaping
characteristics of biofuels, bioenergy and other biotechnologies?

Paper Session

Title: Urban Power, Urban Politics: Reconnecting Electricity and the City (2)

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 3:20 PM - 5:00 PM in Grand E/F, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level

Organizers:
Jonathan Rutherford
Harriet Bulkeley - University of Durham

Abstract:

Electrification and urbanisation have a tangled and intimate history. Ever since the emergence of electric lighting and the Great Exhibitions of the late C19th, electricity has by turns illuminated and cast shadow over the urban landscape. At the same time, as historians of electrification have so clearly demonstrated, electricity systems have been shaped by, through and of the urban, spotlighting the mutual constitution of networks of light and power and of urban capitalist modernities and cultures (Hughes 1983, Nye 1990). Nowhere was this co-evolution more apparent than in Chicago where the development and expansion of a dense electricity grid went hand in hand with the production and reproduction of an energy-intensive Midwest urban industrial economy (Platt 1991).

Yet, once forged into the modern infrastructure ideal of uniform and integrated provision, such systems, and especially their undergirding power and politics, have tended to disappear from view (Graham and Marvin 2001). As a result, both in the public imagination and in our interrogation of the urban arena, it has traditionally been their absence, rupture and lack that have caused research and policy communities to turn to questions of how to plan the urban for electricity, and how such networks can provide for the city. Yet, in response to questions of climate change, decarbonisation, energy security, and new technologies for electricity provision on the one hand, alongside shifting forms of electricity use and practice on the other - from mobile telephones to electric cars, air conditioning to aquariums - it is now electricity's excess in the city which is also coming under question. This excess is framed as both a problem (cf. 'overconsumption', energy 'inefficiency') and a solution (cf. prospective benefits of all electric futures), prompting further interrogation over the work accomplished by competing visions and practices of the grid. Exercising power through electricity in the city involves not only providing access and service, but also managing demand; building grids, but also maintaining, dismantling and reconfiguring them in relation to constantly shifting forms, levels, times and rhythms of use and consumption. This politics of power enrols a wealth of actors and artefacts in new formations, whether these are termed 'smart grids', 'decentralised networks', 'prosumers' or 'practices'.

In this session, we welcome papers seeking to interrogate the politics of power in the city, manifest through forms of electricity infrastructure, provision, practice, culture and economy. The session will consider the ways in which urban politics and urban power around the globe are being reconfigured together in response to both the excess and absence of electricity in the city, in relation to wider problematics of climate change, security, inequality and demand, and the consequences for how we might understand the sites and spaces of the urban politics of transition and resistance.

Paper Session

Title: Energy Transitions IV: Policy and Planning

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 3:20 PM - 5:00 PM in San Francisco, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level

Organizers:
Michael Minn - University of Illinois

Abstract:

Energy transitions are inherently complex and prolonged affairs, and there are numerous unanswered questions about the timing and nature of the transition to whatever comes after the fossil fuel era. These questions cross disciplinary and epistemological lines, making them particularly suited to exploration from the perspectives of geography. These sessions present research related to transitions in energy sources and uses, along with the social, political and/or economic implications of those transitions.

Paper Session

Title: The Construction of Low-Carbon Value I: The Politics of Governing LCV

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 3:20 PM - 5:00 PM in Ogden, Hyatt, West Tower, Silver Level

Organizers:
Jia Ching Chen - Brown University
Abigail Martin

Abstract:

Carbon can be an elusive character for industries and governments promoting low-carbon goods and services. For industries whose core value propositions rely on evidence of carbon abatement, verifying carbon's behavior has become tricky business. Defining and measuring carbon (and other climate-forcing greenhouse gases) as CO2-equivalents can be an impediment to realizing "low-carbon value." Consider the corn ethanol industry's struggle to establish its product as having a smaller carbon debt than that of gasoline. Or, for example, consider the conflict between carbon markets over whether the destruction of nitrous dioxide (N2O) constitutes a "junk offset" or is a meaningful reduction. Such efforts to describe and to present low-carbon value (LCV) have in many cases become a centerpiece of so-called low-carbon development. Efforts to make LCV legible not only introduce new ways of understanding physical reality, but also shape the materiality of the low-carbon economy.

Conventional tools for conceptualizing the fast-changing landscape of the low-carbon economy often do not register what is ostensibly the object of LCV: the greenhouse gases that affect global environmental change. Analyses of commodity chains, value chains, and global production networks presume stable notions of value; standardized, fungible objects; and two-dimensional networks of economic processes and relationships. In these frameworks, what often go unaddressed are questions about how, where and by whom our understandings about "value" get negotiated. This line of questioning is more common in research from science and technology studies (STS) and some strands of political ecology that investigate the simultaneous production of knowledge and social order, or the "co-production" of expertise/scientific knowledge and political relationships, identities and institutions (e.g. Latour, 1986; Jasanoff 1991; Moore 1996; Guston 1999; Guston 2001; Miller 2001; Demeritt 2001; Forsyth 2003; Whatmore 2009). Bringing these insights to bear on the formation of LCV in new economic geographies calls attention to the politics of how carbon and carbon-equivalents are being authoritatively defined, measured, managed and valued.

The session will highlight new methodological and conceptual approaches to the geography and political economy of LCV. Papers investigate sites of "production" and the material consequences of particular intersections of LCV with capital accumulation, spaces of low-carbon development and regimes of environmental conservation, climate and energy governance.


Paper Session

Title: Biofuels, Bioenergy, and the Emerging Bio-Economy IV: Transitions II

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 3:20 PM - 5:00 PM in 203 Classroom, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, 2nd Floor

Organizers:
Peter Kedron - Ryerson University
Kirby Calvert
Jennifer Baka - London School of Economics

Abstract:

The 'bio-economy' represents a socio-ecological system in which biological
material (e.g. plants) replaces fossil fuels as the underpinning natural
resource base for our societies and economies. The bio-economy includes
new forms of energy (e.g. biofuels), new intermediate inputs (e.g.
biochemicals) and new products (e.g. bioplastics). According to governments,
policy-makers and others promoting the bio-economy, it represents an
important sustainable transition pathway based on the renewable qualities of
ecological systems and the fact it does not compromise the longevity of
current ecosystem services.

At first glance then, the bio-economy promises a win-win solution to
ecological, economic and societal challenges, even if it does necessitate the widespread geographical reorganization of agriculture, natural resource
management, energy production and distribution, transport, innovation,
manufacturing and consumption. However, critics of the bio-economy have
noted a number of socially and environmentally regressive outcomes.

The purpose of this session series is to explore these issues from whichever
perspective. This session will focus on Transition to the Bio-economy:

· What are the factors shaping the spatial dispersion or concentration of
bioenergy, biofuels and the bio-economy?
· How are regional clusters of expertise converging / diverging as they
pursue innovations necessary for bioenergy and biofuels?
· What are the path-dependent, path-breaking and path-shaping
characteristics of biofuels, bioenergy and other biotechnologies?

Panel Session

Title: Theorizing Political-Industrial Economy

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM in Grand A, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level

Organizer:
Joshua P. Newell - University of Michigan

Abstract:

Largely pioneered by physicists and engineers in the late 1960s, industrial ecology is a normative project that has developed a range of methodologies (e.g. life cycle assessment, material flow analysis, industrial symbiosis, environmental input-output analysis) in which to consider resource use at a range of spatial scales and contexts. This panel will critically consider the prospects for the development of a theory and praxis of political-industrial ecology, one that incorporates these mass-balance approaches to advance the political ecology research agenda.  Beyond methodological approaches to quantify the stocks and flows of a commodity or resource, political-industrial ecology looks to the broader social, political and historical circumstances that commodity production-consumption dynamics, such as the spatial inequities at key nodes in input-output structures and processes. In considering this potential fusion of political ecology and industrial ecology, the panel will critically evaluate the epistemological and methodological concerns associated with industrial ecology approaches, including narratives of ecological modernization, "apolitical" industrial ecologies, and the bifurcation of nature from society.

Paper Session

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM in Grand E/F, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level

Title:  Urban power, urban politics: reconnecting electricity and the city (3)

Organizers:
Jonathan Rutherford
Harriet Bulkeley - University of Durham

Abstract:

Electrification and urbanisation have a tangled and intimate history. Ever since the emergence of electric lighting and the Great Exhibitions of the late C19th, electricity has by turns illuminated and cast shadow over the urban landscape. At the same time, as historians of electrification have so clearly demonstrated, electricity systems have been shaped by, through and of the urban, spotlighting the mutual constitution of networks of light and power and of urban capitalist modernities and cultures (Hughes 1983, Nye 1990). Nowhere was this co-evolution more apparent than in Chicago where the development and expansion of a dense electricity grid went hand in hand with the production and reproduction of an energy-intensive Midwest urban industrial economy (Platt 1991).

Yet, once forged into the modern infrastructure ideal of uniform and integrated provision, such systems, and especially their undergirding power and politics, have tended to disappear from view (Graham and Marvin 2001). As a result, both in the public imagination and in our interrogation of the urban arena, it has traditionally been their absence, rupture and lack that have caused research and policy communities to turn to questions of how to plan the urban for electricity, and how such networks can provide for the city. Yet, in response to questions of climate change, decarbonisation, energy security, and new technologies for electricity provision on the one hand, alongside shifting forms of electricity use and practice on the other - from mobile telephones to electric cars, air conditioning to aquariums - it is now electricity's excess in the city which is also coming under question. This excess is framed as both a problem (cf. 'overconsumption', energy 'inefficiency') and a solution (cf. prospective benefits of all electric futures), prompting further interrogation over the work accomplished by competing visions and practices of the grid. Exercising power through electricity in the city involves not only providing access and service, but also managing demand; building grids, but also maintaining, dismantling and reconfiguring them in relation to constantly shifting forms, levels, times and rhythms of use and consumption. This politics of power enrols a wealth of actors and artefacts in new formations, whether these are termed 'smart grids', 'decentralised networks', 'prosumers' or 'practices'.

In this session, we welcome papers seeking to interrogate the politics of power in the city, manifest through forms of electricity infrastructure, provision, practice, culture and economy. The session will consider the ways in which urban politics and urban power around the globe are being reconfigured together in response to both the excess and absence of electricity in the city, in relation to wider problematics of climate change, security, inequality and demand, and the consequences for how we might understand the sites and spaces of the urban politics of transition and resistance.

Paper Session

Title: The Construction of Low-Carbon Value II: Making LCV as a Project of Development

Wednesday, 4/22/2015, from 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM in Ogden, Hyatt, West Tower, Silver Level

Organizer:
Jia Ching Chen - Brown University
Abigail Martin

Abstract:

Carbon can be an elusive character for industries and governments promoting low-carbon goods and services. For industries whose core value propositions rely on evidence of carbon abatement, verifying carbon's behavior has become tricky business. Defining and measuring carbon (and other climate-forcing greenhouse gases as CO2-equivalents) can be an impediment to realizing "low-carbon value." Consider the corn ethanol industry's struggle to establish its product as having a smaller carbon debt than that of gasoline. Or, for example, consider the conflict between carbon markets over whether the destruction of nitrous dioxide (N2O) constitutes a "junk offset" or is a meaningful reduction. Such efforts to describe and to present low-carbon value (LCV) have in many cases become a centerpiece of so-called low-carbon development. Efforts to make LCV legible not only introduce new ways of understanding physical reality, but also shape the materiality of the low-carbon economy.

Conventional tools for conceptualizing the fast-changing landscape of the low-carbon economy often do not register what is ostensibly the object of LCV: the greenhouse gases that affect global environmental change. Analyses of commodity chains, value chains, and global production networks presume stable notions of value; standardized, fungible objects; and two-dimensional networks of economic processes and relationships. In these frameworks, what often go unaddressed are questions about how, where and by whom our understandings about "value" get negotiated. This line of questioning is more common in research from science and technology studies (STS) and some strands of political ecology that investigate the simultaneous production of knowledge and social order, or the "co-production" of expertise/scientific knowledge and political relationships, identities and institutions (e.g. Latour, 1986; Jasanoff 1991; Moore 1996; Guston 1999; Guston 2001; Miller 2001; Demeritt 2001; Forsyth 2003; Whatmore 2009). Bringing these insights to bear on the formation of LCV in new economic geographies calls attention to the politics of how carbon and carbon-equivalents are being authoritatively defined, measured, managed and valued.

The session will highlight new methodological and conceptual approaches to the geography and political economy of LCV. We seek papers that address the social construction of LCV, investigate sites of "production" and the material consequences of particular intersections of LCV with capital accumulation, spaces of low-carbon development and regimes of climate and energy governance. We are especially interested in scholarship that investigates the co-production of knowledge and social order in the context of low-carbon industries, including (but not limited to) carbon reduction credits, energy, fuel, transportation, materials, construction, and finance.

Thursday Sessions

Paper Session

Title: Everyday geographies of global, urban infrastructures of energy I


Thursday, 4/23/2015, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in Stetson A, Hyatt, West Tower, Purple Level

Organizers:
Anthony Levenda
Jon Silver - Durham University

Abstract:

Energy forms a crucial support system for the everyday reproduction of urban life in all its forms (Gandy 2005; Swyngedouw 2006). The planetary scale infrastructures that produce and distribute energy for towns and cities are actively being reconfigured across various geographies in response to a range of ongoing global-local pressures, processes and imperatives (Swyngedouw 1997) including climate change and low carbon agendas (Bulkeley & Newell 2010; Hodson & Marvin 2010), securitization (Graham 2010), financial crisis and ongoing forms of political contestation (McFarlane & Rutherford 2008). Such material transformations are shaping new geographies both within and beyond urban regions (Graham & Marvin 2001) that suggest new considerations about politics, inequality and everyday life across energy infrastructures.

This session is interested in the everyday geographies of planetary (urban) infrastructures of energy relating to extraction, distribution, supply and consumption. Such geographies suggest the need to pay close attention to the ways in which these global, urban infrastructures of energy are shifted and intervened across by various social interests (Hughes 1983).  We have contributions from scholars interested in these everyday transformations of energy infrastructures from a micro scale setting of the household through to the vast pipelines that transport oil across politicized landscapes. Papers include cases focused both on the global North and South.

Paper Session

Title: Sustainable Energy for All: Renewable Energy and Decentralisation (1)

Organizers:

John Harrison - Loughborough University
Simon Batchelor - Gamos Ltd

Abstract:
This session aims to scope the implications for energy governance arising from political processes of decentralisation. Our starting point is the recognition that despite multiple understandings of political decentralisation and the interplay between decentralisation, the role of local and regional governance institutions and the promotion of low carbon transitions being a relatively well-explored theme in the context of the developed market economies, it is less well studied in other contexts. Nonetheless, the implications of decentralising processes for clean energy development are particularly important across lower and lower middle income economies, particularly in an era when the theme of political decentralisation is once again firmly rising up the political agenda and clean energy for development is becoming increasingly important not just to their specific geographical location but to the wider region and world more generally. However with local authorities under increasing pressure  to share the burden of a range of capabilities such as  financial management, local and regional economic development, strategic planning in the local area, budgeting procedures, tax collection, procurement procedures and standards, ethics for local government staff and elected representatives, not to mention action against corruption, many such institutions in Africa and beyond are struggling with the competing demands placed on their time and resources to adequately address issues of energy planning and governance. Added to this, in many (African) countries local and regional institutions have variable capacities to fulfil their more traditional roles and have low levels of knowledge about energy - be it technological possibilities, policy and regulatory frameworks, or funding schemes. More specifically, the potentially positive roles local and regional institutions might play in relation to energy are heavily conditioned by the broader national circumstances within which they are situated (e.g. powers devolved, budgets they can draw on, capacity to raise their own resources). In short, this means that as energy access and the urgent need for more efficient, decentralized energy delivery systems have risen up the international development and environmental agendas in recent years, issues of local and regional governance – which have been at the forefront of other discussions over resources management and infrastructure development and which are an essential accompaniment to the energy access discussion– do not appear to have been anywhere near as prominent in discussions of energy.

Paper Session

Title: Everyday geographies of global, urban infrastructures of energy II

Organizer:

Anthony Levenda
Jon Silver - Durham University

Abstract:
Energy forms a crucial support system for the everyday reproduction of urban life in all its forms (Gandy 2005; Swyngedouw 2006). The planetary scale infrastructures that produce and distribute energy for towns and cities are actively being reconfigured across various geographies in response to a range of ongoing global-local pressures, processes and imperatives (Swyngedouw 1997) including climate change and low carbon agendas (Bulkeley & Newell 2010; Hodson & Marvin 2010), securitization (Graham 2010), financial crisis and ongoing forms of political contestation (McFarlane & Rutherford 2008). Such material transformations are shaping new geographies both within and beyond urban regions (Graham & Marvin 2001) that suggest new considerations about politics, inequality and everyday life across energy infrastructures.

This session is interested in the everyday geographies of planetary (urban) infrastructures of energy relating to extraction, distribution, supply and consumption. Such geographies suggest the need to pay close attention to the ways in which these global, urban infrastructures of energy are shifted and intervened across by various social interests (Hughes 1983).  We have contributions from scholars interested in these everyday transformations of energy infrastructures from a micro scale setting of the household through to the vast pipelines that transport oil across politicized landscapes. Papers include cases focused both on the global North and South.

Paper Session

Title: Sustainable Energy for All: Renewable Energy and Decentralisation (2)


Thursday, 4/23/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in McCormick, Hyatt, West Tower, Silver Level

Abstract:

This session aims to scope the implications for energy governance arising from political processes of decentralisation. Our starting point is the recognition that despite multiple understandings of political decentralisation and the interplay between decentralisation, the role of local and regional governance institutions and the promotion of low carbon transitions being a relatively well-explored theme in the context of the developed market economies, it is less well studied in other contexts. Nonetheless, the implications of decentralising processes for clean energy development are particularly important across lower and lower middle income economies, particularly in an era when the theme of political decentralisation is once again firmly rising up the political agenda and clean energy for development is becoming increasingly important not just to their specific geographical location but to the wider region and world more generally. However with local authorities under increasing pressure  to share the burden of a range of capabilities such as  financial management, local and regional economic development, strategic planning in the local area, budgeting procedures, tax collection, procurement procedures and standards, ethics for local government staff and elected representatives, not to mention action against corruption, many such institutions in Africa and beyond are struggling with the competing demands placed on their time and resources to adequately address issues of energy planning and governance. Added to this, in many (African) countries local and regional institutions have variable capacities to fulfil their more traditional roles and have low levels of knowledge about energy - be it technological possibilities, policy and regulatory frameworks, or funding schemes. More specifically, the potentially positive roles local and regional institutions might play in relation to energy are heavily conditioned by the broader national circumstances within which they are situated (e.g. powers devolved, budgets they can draw on, capacity to raise their own resources). In short, this means that as energy access and the urgent need for more efficient, decentralized energy delivery systems have risen up the international development and environmental agendas in recent years, issues of local and regional governance – which have been at the forefront of other discussions over resources management and infrastructure development and which are an essential accompaniment to the energy access discussion– do not appear to have been anywhere near as prominent in discussions of energy.

Paper Session

Title: Our future food- and fuel-scapes (I): U.S. aricultural land-use change and its implications

Organizers:

Thursday, 4/23/2015, from 1:20 PM - 3:00 PM in Roosevelt, Hyatt, East Tower, Ped Path

Tyler J. Lark - University of Wisconsin - Madison
Holly Gibbs - University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstract:

The United States has entered a new era of agriculture.  Revised federal policies, increased use of crops for fuel, and environmental stressors such as drought have all contributed to recent changes in the composition and configuration of our landscapes.  As the demand for food, fiber, and fuel continues to rise towards a projected doubling of agricultural production by 2050, the interaction and intensity of these drivers and landscape changes will amplify.  Understanding this burgeoning transformation is critically important for managing food production, conservation, and climate change as well as informing and evaluating policies focused on addressing these grand environmental challenges.

In this session, we ask:  How has agriculture and land use changed in response to recent market drivers?  Where and what quality land is available for future crop production?  How do different policy and market scenarios affect potential future changes to the landscape?  What practices or approaches may help meet the growing production needs while conserving habitat or maintaining biodiversity?

Presentations could cover a variety of topics, including but not limited to:
-Recent changes to agricultural rotations, land management, or practices
-Availability of marginal, abandoned, or other lands for biofuels or expanded crop production
-Scenarios of future land use
-Implications of U.S. land-use/cover change for carbon storage or ecosystem services
-Agricultural suitability mapping and the effects of climate change
-Methods for mapping and monitoring U.S. agricultural change

We aim to bring together presenters with diverse interests and backgrounds in hopes of advancing methodologies, generating research questions, and forming new collaborations.

Paper Session

Title: Sustainable Energy for All: Renewable Energy and Decentralisation (1)

Thursday, 4/23/2015, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in McCormick, Hyatt, West Tower, Silver Level

Organizers:

John Harrison - Loughborough University
Simon Batchelor - Gamos Ltd

Abstract:

This session aims to scope the implications for energy governance arising from political processes of decentralisation. Our starting point is the recognition that despite multiple understandings of political decentralisation and the interplay between decentralisation, the role of local and regional governance institutions and the promotion of low carbon transitions being a relatively well-explored theme in the context of the developed market economies, it is less well studied in other contexts. Nonetheless, the implications of decentralising processes for clean energy development are particularly important across lower and lower middle income economies, particularly in an era when the theme of political decentralisation is once again firmly rising up the political agenda and clean energy for development is becoming increasingly important not just to their specific geographical location but to the wider region and world more generally. However with local authorities under increasing pressure  to share the burden of a range of capabilities such as  financial management, local and regional economic development, strategic planning in the local area, budgeting procedures, tax collection, procurement procedures and standards, ethics for local government staff and elected representatives, not to mention action against corruption, many such institutions in Africa and beyond are struggling with the competing demands placed on their time and resources to adequately address issues of energy planning and governance. Added to this, in many (African) countries local and regional institutions have variable capacities to fulfil their more traditional roles and have low levels of knowledge about energy - be it technological possibilities, policy and regulatory frameworks, or funding schemes. More specifically, the potentially positive roles local and regional institutions might play in relation to energy are heavily conditioned by the broader national circumstances within which they are situated (e.g. powers devolved, budgets they can draw on, capacity to raise their own resources). In short, this means that as energy access and the urgent need for more efficient, decentralized energy delivery systems have risen up the international development and environmental agendas in recent years, issues of local and regional governance – which have been at the forefront of other discussions over resources management and infrastructure development and which are an essential accompaniment to the energy access discussion– do not appear to have been anywhere near as prominent in discussions of energy.

We therefore welcome papers that attempt to better understand the role of local authorities and regional institutions in addressing energy issues (particularly within the context of the moves towards energy decentralisation) and how these roles are being (or stand to be) affected by processes of political decentralisation. We are particularly keen to see papers where the focus is on developments occurring in the Global South, but we welcome any papers which have a development perspective to them.

Paper Session

Hydrocarbon Governance and New Geographies of Fracking

Thursday, 4/23/2015, from 3:20 PM - 5:00 PM in Columbus H, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level

Organizers:

Matthew Fry - University of North Texas
Thomas Loder - Texas A&M University

Abstract:

Newly accessible shale deposits and other unconventional sources of oil and gas have dramatically increased global hydrocarbon reserves and are regarded as major future energy sources. Geographical analysis is critical to determine processes of hydrocarbon development and its impacts, as well as to inform policy debates. Despite a growing body of literature on the geography of energy (Bridge et al 2013; Pasqualetti and Brown 2014), empirical research on hydrocarbons and governance is limited, with most scholarship on hydrocarbons and governance mainly done at scales of the state and globe.  The goal of this session is to provide a venue for empirical and data-driven findings on the fracking revolution and contemporary hydrocarbon boom.  We aim to bring together geographers using place-based or case studies to examine human and environmental outcomes of hydrocarbon production, distribution, and consumption via diverse theoretical perspectives (e.g., nature-society, legal geographies, environmental governance, discourse theory, split estate theory, regulationist approaches, cultural landscape studies, post-structuralism, psychoanalytic and affective theories).

Paper Session

Title: Our future food- and fuel-scapes (II): Agricultural land suitability and availability in the United States


Thursday, 4/23/2015, from 3:20 PM - 5:00 PM in Roosevelt, Hyatt, East Tower, Ped Path

Organizers:

Tyler J. Lark - University of Wisconsin - Madison
Holly Gibbs - University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstract:

The United States has entered a new era of agriculture.  Revised federal policies, increased use of crops for fuel, and environmental stressors such as drought have all contributed to recent changes in the composition and configuration of our landscapes.  As the demand for food, fiber, and fuel continues to rise towards a projected doubling of agricultural production by 2050, the interaction and intensity of these drivers and landscape changes will amplify.  Understanding this burgeoning transformation is critically important for managing food production, conservation, and climate change as well as informing and evaluating policies focused on addressing these grand environmental challenges.

In these sessions, we ask:  How has agriculture and land use changed in response to recent market drivers?  Where and what quality land is available for future crop production?  How do different policy and market scenarios affect potential future changes to the landscape?  What practices or approaches may help meet the growing production needs while conserving habitat or maintaining biodiversity?

Presentations could cover a variety of topics, including but not limited to:
-Recent changes to agricultural rotations, land management, or practices
-Availability of marginal, abandoned, or other lands for biofuels or expanded crop production
-Scenarios of future land use
-Implications of U.S. land-use/cover change for carbon storage or ecosystem services
-Agricultural suitability mapping and the effects of climate change
-Methods for mapping and monitoring U.S. agricultural change

We aim to bring together presenters with diverse interests and backgrounds in hopes of advancing methodologies, generating research questions, and forming new collaborations.

Paper Session

Title: Socio-Technical (Sustainability) Transitions in the making: emerging geographies of eco-innovation and green industrial change 2

Organizers:

Christian Binz - Harvard University
Bernhard Truffer - Eawag
James T. Murphy - Clark University


Friday Sessions

Paper Session

Title: Perceptions and sociopolitical narratives in environmental planning II: Case studies of decision-making

Friday, 4/24/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in Skyway 282, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level

Organizers:

Chad Walker - Western University
Tor H Oiamo - Western University

Abstract:

The most crucial aspect of any development with environmental impacts is the planning phase, and previous research has identified and examined in depth several important determinants of successful planning practices, which include stakeholder engagement and sensitivity to local context (Arnstein, 1969). As such, scoping the need for any type of development can be a contentious process, pitting macro-level economic, political and social narratives of development against the interests of local and public stakeholders. Conflicts between stakeholders and developers, as well as amongst stakeholders can arise from diverse views on the relative importance of various social, economic or environmental outcomes (e.g., sustainable development versus economic growth), as well as opposing views on the relative importance of benefits at different spatial scales (i.e., local, regional, state/province or national). Recent work points to the importance of equitable and just representation in policy- and decision-making for environmental development (Kwiatkowski & Ooi, 2003; Masuda et al., 2008; Wolsink, 2007). This session seeks to bring together researchers whose diverse topics of interest share a common need to address the influence of sociopolitical narratives in different development scenarios. Taking public perceptions of proposed or completed developments as points of departure the session will include papers that present case studies on the influence of sociopolitical context on policy and decision-making processes. The types of development discussed will include, but are not limited to waste treatment facilities, energy and transportation infrastructure.

Paper Session

Title: In the Green Kitchen: Critically assessing Domestic Energy Interventions for Climate and Development (Session 1)

Friday, 4/24/2015, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in Picasso, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Organizers:

Robert Bailis - Yale University
Jasmine Hyman - Yale University

Abstract:

The IPCC's recently released 5th Assessment Report reminds us that roughly 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity and 3 billion people worldwide rely on traditional solid fuels for household cooking and heating. Deriving household energy from wood, crop waste, dung, and coal, leads to well-documented health impacts and is associated with persistent narratives of environmental damage through unsustainable harvesting and climate-forcing pollution. As a result, these spaces have been the target of interventions throughout the Global South for decades, with limited success (Simon et al., 2014). Interventions have ranged from traditional development assistance to fully market-driven models (Bailis et al. 2009). In addition, recognition that household energy in the Global South doesn't "receive adequate incentives through conventional markets" (IPCC, 2014), has driven the emergence of market-development hybrids, including micro-lending, carbon offsets, and other types of "results-based finance". These approaches create explicit ties between nature, markets, and intimate household spaces that raise many questions, including:

•      Who benefits from market-development hybrids linking commercial activity to welfare-enhancing interventions?
•      How do household interventions play out within the household?
•      Are household energy interventions in the Global South effective climate change mitigation strategies?
•      How do local households navigate and make relevant the global landscape of climate policy mechanisms? Under what conditions are international climate policies useful for the rural poor?
•      Are green markets functional as markets? Are they green?

Panel Session

Title: Geography, Sustainability and the Green Campus

Organizers:

Leslie A. Duram - Southern Illinois University

Abstract:

This session will investigate what we, as Geographers, are doing to provide our students with skills and knowledge related to sustainability education. The discipline of Geography has a long tradition of addressing these topics, whether we used the terms "man-land," "nature and society" or "humans and the environment."  Perhaps the newest term is simply "sustainability."  According to a recent report by US News and World Report, sustainability is one of the "Hottest College Majors" that leads to a job.  In this session, we will provide examples of how Geography is participating in promoting sustainability through our teaching, mentoring, and advising. We will explore: whether sustainability courses being taught in Geography Departments or elsewhere on campus;  if Geography Faculty are the advisers of student groups that focus on sustainability initiatives; and the extent to which we provide linkages between our geographic research and student interest in sustainability.

Paper Session

Title: Perceptions and sociopolitical narratives in environmental planning II: Case studies of decision-making


Friday, 4/24/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in Skyway 282, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level

Organizers:

Chad Walker - Western University
Tor H Oiamo - Western University

Abstract:

The most crucial aspect of any development with environmental impacts is the planning phase, and previous research has identified and examined in depth several important determinants of successful planning practices, which include stakeholder engagement and sensitivity to local context (Arnstein, 1969). As such, scoping the need for any type of development can be a contentious process, pitting macro-level economic, political and social narratives of development against the interests of local and public stakeholders. Conflicts between stakeholders and developers, as well as amongst stakeholders can arise from diverse views on the relative importance of various social, economic or environmental outcomes (e.g., sustainable development versus economic growth), as well as opposing views on the relative importance of benefits at different spatial scales (i.e., local, regional, state/province or national). Recent work points to the importance of equitable and just representation in policy- and decision-making for environmental development (Kwiatkowski & Ooi, 2003; Masuda et al., 2008; Wolsink, 2007). This session seeks to bring together researchers whose diverse topics of interest share a common need to address the influence of sociopolitical narratives in different development scenarios. Taking public perceptions of proposed or completed developments as points of departure the session will include papers that present case studies on the influence of sociopolitical context on policy and decision-making processes. The types of development discussed will include, but are not limited to waste treatment facilities, energy and transportation infrastructure.

Paper Session

Title: In the Green Kitchen: Critically assessing Domestic Energy Interventions for Climate and Development (Session 2)


Friday, 4/24/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in Picasso, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Organizers:

Robert Bailis - Yale University
Jasmine Hyman - Yale University

Abstract:

The IPCC's recently released 5th Assessment Report reminds us that roughly 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity and 3 billion people worldwide rely on traditional solid fuels for household cooking and heating. Deriving household energy from wood, crop waste, dung, and coal, leads to well-documented health impacts and is associated with persistent narratives of environmental damage through unsustainable harvesting and climate-forcing pollution. As a result, these spaces have been the target of interventions throughout the Global South for decades, with limited success (Simon et al., 2014). Interventions have ranged from traditional development assistance to fully market-driven models (Bailis et al. 2009). In addition, recognition that household energy in the Global South doesn't "receive adequate incentives through conventional markets" (IPCC, 2014), has driven the emergence of market-development hybrids, including micro-lending, carbon offsets, and other types of "results-based finance". These approaches create explicit ties between nature, markets, and intimate household spaces that raise many questions, including:

•      Who benefits from market-development hybrids linking commercial activity to welfare-enhancing interventions?
•      How do household interventions play out within the household?
•      Are household energy interventions in the Global South effective climate change mitigation strategies?
•      How do local households navigate and make relevant the global landscape of climate policy mechanisms? Under what conditions are international climate policies useful for the rural poor?
•      Are green markets functional as markets? Are they green?

Paper Session

Title: Transitional Energy Markets after 1990


Friday, 4/24/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in St. Morits, Swissôtel, Lucerne Level

Organizer:

Balázs Forman - Corvinus University of Budapest

Abstract:


How can the different countries break out infuence of fossil fuels? What is the price of political, economy independence? Partly economic and energetic dependence on highly developed technologies? What's depend on self-suffiency in USA, in EU and/or in other countries? It depend on abundant of fossil energy resources? On single European energy markets' supply? Question is different countries are semi-periphery or periphery in a global energy market with foreign infuences?

Paper Session

Title: Energy Transitions, EEG and Local and Regional Development: I

Friday, 4/24/2015, from 1:20 PM - 3:00 PM in Picasso, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Organizers:

Stuart Dawley - CURDS, Newcastle University
Danny Mackinnon - Newcastle University

Abstract:

Over the last decade or so considerable attention has been paid to the potential for innovation and industrial development in low-carbon energy technologies and cleantech as a key source of regional economic growth.  Early work in this field applied notions of clustering and regional innovation systems to explore the growth and development of particular hubs of low-carbon and renewable energy technologies (Cooke 2010). More recently, attention has shifted to understanding the growth of low-carbon energy technologies as part of a broader socio-technical 'transition' that emphasises structural innovation in energy systems.  Through this work economic geographers have developed a constructive geographical critique of the prominent multi-level perspective (MLP) and technological innovations systems (TIS) approaches to energy transitions by emphasising the territorial embeddedness of key actors and institutions and their multi-scalar relations (Truffer and Coenen 2012).  Although implicit within these debates on system level processes, less attention has been paid to working through the local and regional economic development and governance dynamics associated with energy transition.

However, opportunities exist to bring together several parallel strands of work within economic geography to help better frame our understanding of the "new geographies of winners and losers" of energy transitions (Bridge et al 2013 p 337).  First, within evolutionary economic geography (EEG), work on path dependency, path creation, branching, and local and regional industrial evolution offer important insights in understanding how regions capture, or indeed miss, opportunities for growth as part of broader transition processes. Approaches within EEG offer the explicit local and regional dimension so far lacking in the national-level focus of transitions work (Essletzbichler 2012).  At the same time, understanding the institutional contexts of enabling or constraining environments of growth paths in EEG may connect to notions of 'transitions spaces', niches and regimes as conceptualised in MLP approaches. Second, the development of local and regional growth paths within local-carbon energy technologies is not only a product of processes operating within regions. Links to Global Production Networks (GPNs) and/or Global Value Chains maybe crucial sources of extra-regional investment, technology and knowledge.  Given the often physical and material locational factors of low-carbon energy development (e.g. wind; tidal; infrastructures), new GPN configurations are forming with important implications for the nature of 'strategic couplings' involved (Mackinnon 2012). Issues of power and position within the GPNs offer important insights for regional development as networks of energy production, knowledge and ownership become increasingly globalised.

In conceptual terms, these parallel strands of work overlap but are rarely brought together. The session invites papers from across these areas to better frame and deepen our understanding and explanation of the local and regional development dimensions of energy transitions. In addition to conceptual contributions, we also very much welcome methodological, empirical and policy analyses which connect to some of the following topics/areas:

• Theoretical cross-fertilisation, critique and synthesis
• Multi-scalar dimensions of the low-carbon energy transition and local and regional development
• Understanding the mechanisms of path creation and/or branching in the development of low-carbon growth
• GPNs and energy transitions: couplings and local and regional development
• Understanding paths not taken or unsuccessful attempts to stimulate growth
• The role of niches, market regulation and industrial policy in supporting growth
• Unpacking and working through institutional contexts, environments and policy interventions in enabling/constraining growth
• Variegated capitalisms, energy regulation and industrial policy
• The implications of energy transitions on the adaptation of existing forms of manufacturing activities and energy production
• Austerity states and low-carbon transition
• Understanding energy transitions and the quantitative and/or qualitative nature of local and regional development
• Exploring the potential for community based economic development within energy transitions

Paper Session

Title: Energy Transitions, EEG and Local and Regional Development: II

Friday, 4/24/2015, from 3:20 PM - 5:00 PM in Picasso, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Organizers:
Stuart Dawley - CURDS, Newcastle University
Danny Mackinnon - Newcastle University

Abstract:

Over the last decade or so considerable attention has been paid to the potential for innovation and industrial development in low-carbon energy technologies and cleantech as a key source of regional economic growth.  Early work in this field applied notions of clustering and regional innovation systems to explore the growth and development of particular hubs of low-carbon and renewable energy technologies (Cooke 2010). More recently, attention has shifted to understanding the growth of low-carbon energy technologies as part of a broader socio-technical 'transition' that emphasises structural innovation in energy systems.  Through this work economic geographers have developed a constructive geographical critique of the prominent multi-level perspective (MLP) and technological innovations systems (TIS) approaches to energy transitions by emphasising the territorial embeddedness of key actors and institutions and their multi-scalar relations (Truffer and Coenen 2012).  Although implicit within these debates on system level processes, less attention has been paid to working through the local and regional economic development and governance dynamics associated with energy transition.

However, opportunities exist to bring together several parallel strands of work within economic geography to help better frame our understanding of the "new geographies of winners and losers" of energy transitions (Bridge et al 2013 p 337).  First, within evolutionary economic geography (EEG), work on path dependency, path creation, branching, and local and regional industrial evolution offer important insights in understanding how regions capture, or indeed miss, opportunities for growth as part of broader transition processes. Approaches within EEG offer the explicit local and regional dimension so far lacking in the national-level focus of transitions work (Essletzbichler 2012).  At the same time, understanding the institutional contexts of enabling or constraining environments of growth paths in EEG may connect to notions of 'transitions spaces', niches and regimes as conceptualised in MLP approaches. Second, the development of local and regional growth paths within local-carbon energy technologies is not only a product of processes operating within regions. Links to Global Production Networks (GPNs) and/or Global Value Chains maybe crucial sources of extra-regional investment, technology and knowledge.  Given the often physical and material locational factors of low-carbon energy development (e.g. wind; tidal; infrastructures), new GPN configurations are forming with important implications for the nature of 'strategic couplings' involved (Mackinnon 2012). Issues of power and position within the GPNs offer important insights for regional development as networks of energy production, knowledge and ownership become increasingly globalised.

In conceptual terms, these parallel strands of work overlap but are rarely brought together. The session invites papers from across these areas to better frame and deepen our understanding and explanation of the local and regional development dimensions of energy transitions. In addition to conceptual contributions, we also very much welcome methodological, empirical and policy analyses which connect to some of the following topics/areas:

• Theoretical cross-fertilisation, critique and synthesis
• Multi-scalar dimensions of the low-carbon energy transition and local and regional development
• Understanding the mechanisms of path creation and/or branching in the development of low-carbon growth
• GPNs and energy transitions: couplings and local and regional development
• Understanding paths not taken or unsuccessful attempts to stimulate growth
• The role of niches, market regulation and industrial policy in supporting growth
• Unpacking and working through institutional contexts, environments and policy interventions in enabling/constraining growth
• Variegated capitalisms, energy regulation and industrial policy
• The implications of energy transitions on the adaptation of existing forms of manufacturing activities and energy production
• Austerity states and low-carbon transition
• Understanding energy transitions and the quantitative and/or qualitative nature of local and regional development
• Exploring the potential for community based economic development within energy transitions

Paper Session

Title: Harder, Faster, Deeper, Stronger: Ecological Restructuring and the Primary Sector

Friday, 4/24/2015, from 3:20 PM - 5:00 PM in Horner, Hyatt, West Tower, Silver Level

Organizers:
Beatriz Bustos - Universidad de Chile
Gavin Bridge - Durham University

Abstract:

The last few years have seen a growing interest in understanding the significance of contemporary resource and commodity booms. Papers, panels and other interventions have, in different ways, highlighted and problematized the geographies and political ecologies to which new rounds of primary sector investment and production are giving rise. As welcome and exciting as this flourishing of work on resources is, sustained attention has yet to be given to how the 'nature-facing' character of these sectors influences their geographic and organisational form during periods of boom (and bust). From time to time this question of 'industrial dynamics' has been raised by those working on the political economy of raw materials and, as a result of these earlier forays, several conceptual resources are available which now provide initial points of entry.

Our interest is in understanding how resource and commodity booms involve not only increases in output and spatial shifts in production, but may do so  - at least in part - by 'taking hold directly' (Boyd et al. 2001) of the biophysical system on which these sectors depend. Our aim in this session is develop a better sense of how the biophysical processes central to raw material production may be re-worked during periods of resource boom and bust: how, for example, they may be made to run harder or faster in order to speed up turn-over time; or how production systems push deeper down trophic levels/resource quality pyramids or accentuate qualities (like strength or lightness) by innovating at the molecular level. In short, we are interested in how biophysical systems are re-made at moments of economic expansion and recession.

Paper Session

Friday, 4/24/2015, from 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM in Picasso, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Title: Energy Transitions, EEG and Local and Regional Development: III

Organizers:

Stuart Dawley - CURDS, Newcastle University
Danny Mackinnon - Newcastle University

Abstract:

Over the last decade or so considerable attention has been paid to the potential for innovation and industrial development in low-carbon energy technologies and cleantech as a key source of regional economic growth.  Early work in this field applied notions of clustering and regional innovation systems to explore the growth and development of particular hubs of low-carbon and renewable energy technologies (Cooke 2010). More recently, attention has shifted to understanding the growth of low-carbon energy technologies as part of a broader socio-technical 'transition' that emphasises structural innovation in energy systems.  Through this work economic geographers have developed a constructive geographical critique of the prominent multi-level perspective (MLP) and technological innovations systems (TIS) approaches to energy transitions by emphasising the territorial embeddedness of key actors and institutions and their multi-scalar relations (Truffer and Coenen 2012).  Although implicit within these debates on system level processes, less attention has been paid to working through the local and regional economic development and governance dynamics associated with energy transition.

However, opportunities exist to bring together several parallel strands of work within economic geography to help better frame our understanding of the "new geographies of winners and losers" of energy transitions (Bridge et al 2013 p 337).  First, within evolutionary economic geography (EEG), work on path dependency, path creation, branching, and local and regional industrial evolution offer important insights in understanding how regions capture, or indeed miss, opportunities for growth as part of broader transition processes. Approaches within EEG offer the explicit local and regional dimension so far lacking in the national-level focus of transitions work (Essletzbichler 2012).  At the same time, understanding the institutional contexts of enabling or constraining environments of growth paths in EEG may connect to notions of 'transitions spaces', niches and regimes as conceptualised in MLP approaches. Second, the development of local and regional growth paths within local-carbon energy technologies is not only a product of processes operating within regions. Links to Global Production Networks (GPNs) and/or Global Value Chains maybe crucial sources of extra-regional investment, technology and knowledge.  Given the often physical and material locational factors of low-carbon energy development (e.g. wind; tidal; infrastructures), new GPN configurations are forming with important implications for the nature of 'strategic couplings' involved (Mackinnon 2012). Issues of power and position within the GPNs offer important insights for regional development as networks of energy production, knowledge and ownership become increasingly globalised.

In conceptual terms, these parallel strands of work overlap but are rarely brought together. The session invites papers from across these areas to better frame and deepen our understanding and explanation of the local and regional development dimensions of energy transitions. In addition to conceptual contributions, we also very much welcome methodological, empirical and policy analyses which connect to some of the following topics/areas:

• Theoretical cross-fertilisation, critique and synthesis
• Multi-scalar dimensions of the low-carbon energy transition and local and regional development
• Understanding the mechanisms of path creation and/or branching in the development of low-carbon growth
• GPNs and energy transitions: couplings and local and regional development
• Understanding paths not taken or unsuccessful attempts to stimulate growth
• The role of niches, market regulation and industrial policy in supporting growth
• Unpacking and working through institutional contexts, environments and policy interventions in enabling/constraining growth
• Variegated capitalisms, energy regulation and industrial policy
• The implications of energy transitions on the adaptation of existing forms of manufacturing activities and energy production
• Austerity states and low-carbon transition
• Understanding energy transitions and the quantitative and/or qualitative nature of local and regional development
• Exploring the potential for community based economic development within energy transitions

Paper Session

Friday, 4/24/2015, from 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM in Picasso, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Organizers:
Stuart Dawley - CURDS, Newcastle University
Danny Mackinnon - Newcastle Universit

Abstract:

Over the last decade or so considerable attention has been paid to the potential for innovation and industrial development in low-carbon energy technologies and cleantech as a key source of regional economic growth.  Early work in this field applied notions of clustering and regional innovation systems to explore the growth and development of particular hubs of low-carbon and renewable energy technologies (Cooke 2010). More recently, attention has shifted to understanding the growth of low-carbon energy technologies as part of a broader socio-technical 'transition' that emphasises structural innovation in energy systems.  Through this work economic geographers have developed a constructive geographical critique of the prominent multi-level perspective (MLP) and technological innovations systems (TIS) approaches to energy transitions by emphasising the territorial embeddedness of key actors and institutions and their multi-scalar relations (Truffer and Coenen 2012).  Although implicit within these debates on system level processes, less attention has been paid to working through the local and regional economic development and governance dynamics associated with energy transition.

However, opportunities exist to bring together several parallel strands of work within economic geography to help better frame our understanding of the "new geographies of winners and losers" of energy transitions (Bridge et al 2013 p 337).  First, within evolutionary economic geography (EEG), work on path dependency, path creation, branching, and local and regional industrial evolution offer important insights in understanding how regions capture, or indeed miss, opportunities for growth as part of broader transition processes. Approaches within EEG offer the explicit local and regional dimension so far lacking in the national-level focus of transitions work (Essletzbichler 2012).  At the same time, understanding the institutional contexts of enabling or constraining environments of growth paths in EEG may connect to notions of 'transitions spaces', niches and regimes as conceptualised in MLP approaches. Second, the development of local and regional growth paths within local-carbon energy technologies is not only a product of processes operating within regions. Links to Global Production Networks (GPNs) and/or Global Value Chains maybe crucial sources of extra-regional investment, technology and knowledge.  Given the often physical and material locational factors of low-carbon energy development (e.g. wind; tidal; infrastructures), new GPN configurations are forming with important implications for the nature of 'strategic couplings' involved (Mackinnon 2012). Issues of power and position within the GPNs offer important insights for regional development as networks of energy production, knowledge and ownership become increasingly globalised.

In conceptual terms, these parallel strands of work overlap but are rarely brought together. The session invites papers from across these areas to better frame and deepen our understanding and explanation of the local and regional development dimensions of energy transitions. In addition to conceptual contributions, we also very much welcome methodological, empirical and policy analyses which connect to some of the following topics/areas:

• Theoretical cross-fertilisation, critique and synthesis
• Multi-scalar dimensions of the low-carbon energy transition and local and regional development
• Understanding the mechanisms of path creation and/or branching in the development of low-carbon growth
• GPNs and energy transitions: couplings and local and regional development
• Understanding paths not taken or unsuccessful attempts to stimulate growth
• The role of niches, market regulation and industrial policy in supporting growth
• Unpacking and working through institutional contexts, environments and policy interventions in enabling/constraining growth
• Variegated capitalisms, energy regulation and industrial policy
• The implications of energy transitions on the adaptation of existing forms of manufacturing activities and energy production
• Austerity states and low-carbon transition
• Understanding energy transitions and the quantitative and/or qualitative nature of local and regional development
• Exploring the potential for community based economic development within energy transitions

Paper Session

Friday, 4/24/2015, from 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM in Horner, Hyatt, West Tower, Silver Leve

Title: Harder, Faster, Deeper, Stronger: Ecological Restructuring and the Primary Sector 2

Organizers:
Gavin Bridge - Durham University
Beatriz Bustos - Universidad de Chile

Abstract:

The last few years have seen a growing interest in understanding the significance of contemporary resource and commodity booms. Papers, panels and other interventions have, in different ways, highlighted and problematized the geographies and political ecologies to which new rounds of primary sector investment and production are giving rise. As welcome and exciting as this flourishing of work on resources is, sustained attention has yet to be given to how the 'nature-facing' character of these sectors influences their geographic and organisational form during periods of boom (and bust). From time to time this question of 'industrial dynamics' has been raised by those working on the political economy of raw materials and, as a result of these earlier forays, several conceptual resources are available which now provide initial points of entry.

Our interest is in understanding how resource and commodity booms involve not only increases in output and spatial shifts in production, but may do so  - at least in part - by 'taking hold directly' (Boyd et al. 2001) of the biophysical system on which these sectors depend. Our aim in this session is develop a better sense of how the biophysical processes central to raw material production may be re-worked during periods of resource boom and bust: how, for example, they may be made to run harder or faster in order to speed up turn-over time; or how production systems push deeper down trophic levels/resource quality pyramids or accentuate qualities (like strength or lightness) by innovating at the molecular level. In short, we are interested in how biophysical systems are re-made at moments of economic expansion and recession.

Saturday Sessions

Paper Session

Saturday, 4/25/2015, from 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM in Soldier Field, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Title: When Logics Collide: The Political and Economic Geographies of Extraction - I

Organizers:
Tomas Frederiksen - University of Manchester
Matthew Himley - Illinois State University

Abstract:

This session seeks to advance analyses of the relations and tensions between the economic and political geographies of extraction. Extractive economies manifest a "punctuated and discontinuous geographical expression" (Bridge 2011: 318), with mining and hydrocarbon capital not smoothly circulating across expansive territories, but rather through a patchwork of particularly 'rich' subterranean locations. Concurrently, the political systems though which capitalist extraction is carried out and governed typically maintain spatial forms that are distinct from the selective and irregular geographies of extraction itself. While within these political-legal geographies the territorial state, as owner of the subsoil in most cases, plays a central role, recent decades have witnessed a proliferation of differently scaled actors and institutions involved in extractive industry governance. This session aims to shed light on the frictions and mismatches between extraction's economic and political geographies, as well as on the ways in which these tensions contribute to struggles generated by extractive activities. As the extractive economy expands these struggles are proliferating, for example as national governments strive to secure a 'fair' share of extractive rents, or subnational groups fight to receive just compensation for extraction's socio-environmental ills. At the same time, the expansion of extractive industry does not just challenge existing political structures and systems but makes them anew, contributing to the creation of new, multi-scalar polities and novel, differently scaled regulatory architectures. This session, then, seeks to explore the contradictions and - at times generative – tensions between the political and the economic within the context of mineral and hydrocarbon development.

Paper Session

Title: New Economic Geographies of Resources and the Environment I: The technologies and metrics of resource making

Saturday, 4/25/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in Skyway 272, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level

Organizers:
Caitlin Mcelroy - Oxford University
Kärg Kama - University of Oxford
Janelle Knox-Hayes - Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract:

In a renewed attempt to account for the generative capacities of the environment and material world, a growing body of political economy research interrogates how the distribution, properties and affordances of natural resources affect their regulation, commodification and marketization. These increasingly rich accounts of environment-economy interactions are undermined by a set of paradoxes. First, while the 'biophysical' qualities of resources are recognized to effect upon the operations of extractive economies and politics, 'resources' as such are equally understood to represent social constructions. Resources reflect the particular scientific knowledge practices, modes of valuation and governance regimes that constitute them. This highlights a need to conceptualize the essence and modes of non-human integration into socio-economic systems, including empirical studies of particular instances when commodification and marketization have failed. Second, while resources are considered as particular, locally and historically contingent framings of the natural environment (and its use value), they have been always 'more than merely economic', i.e. subjects of state security measures, development ambitions, political struggles, and affective engagements. This suggests that the constitution of resources is not merely a matter of geo-scientific and economic expertise, but always has cultural, political and moral implications. Finally, emerging studies in economic anthropology and geography note that many contemporary modes of resource appropriation and exchange are no longer 'material' in the conventional sense, pointing towards a need to address also immaterial assets and financialization, particularly in the exchange of environmental externalities and qualified environmental productivity. The papers will address these three paradoxes by documenting and analysing the changing geographies of resource production, the co-constitution of resources and (im)material economies, and their social and environmental repercussions.

The first session explores the various techniques and metrics involved in the making of (new) resources, territories and economies. Moving beyond conventional approaches that take the existence of resources for granted, the papers discuss the conditions under which resource-making and commodification can take place, the array of devices and technologies involved, and their implications for broader politico-economic changes and market reforms

Paper Session

Title: When Logics Collide: The Political and Economic Geographies of Extraction - II

Saturday, 4/25/2015, from 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM in Soldier Field, Hyatt, West Tower, Bronze Level

Organizers:
Tomas Frederiksen - University of Manchester
Matthew Himley - Illinois State University

Abstract:

This session seeks to advance analyses of the relations and tensions between the economic and political geographies of extraction. Extractive economies manifest a "punctuated and discontinuous geographical expression" (Bridge 2011: 318), with mining and hydrocarbon capital not smoothly circulating across expansive territories, but rather through a patchwork of particularly 'rich' subterranean locations. Concurrently, the political systems though which capitalist extraction is carried out and governed typically maintain spatial forms that are distinct from the selective and irregular geographies of extraction itself. While within these political-legal geographies the territorial state, as owner of the subsoil in most cases, plays a central role, recent decades have witnessed a proliferation of differently scaled actors and institutions involved in extractive industry governance. This session aims to shed light on the frictions and mismatches between extraction's economic and political geographies, as well as on the ways in which these tensions contribute to struggles generated by extractive activities. As the extractive economy expands these struggles are proliferating, for example as national governments strive to secure a 'fair' share of extractive rents, or subnational groups fight to receive just compensation for extraction's socio-environmental ills. At the same time, the expansion of extractive industry does not just challenge existing political structures and systems but makes them anew, contributing to the creation of new, multi-scalar polities and novel, differently scaled regulatory architectures. This session, then, seeks to explore the contradictions and - at times generative – tensions between the political and the economic within the context of mineral and hydrocarbon development.

Paper Session

Title: New Economic Geographies of Resources and the Environment II: Resource Governance

Saturday, 4/25/2015, from 2:00 PM - 3:40 PM in Skyway 272, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level

Organizers:
Caitlin Mcelroy - Oxford University
Kärg Kama - University of Oxford
Janelle Knox-Hayes - Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract:

In a renewed attempt to account for the generative capacities of the environment and material world, a growing body of political economy research interrogates how the distribution, properties and affordances of natural resources affect their regulation, commodification and marketization. These increasingly rich accounts of environment-economy interactions are undermined by a set of paradoxes. First, while the 'biophysical' qualities of resources are recognized to effect upon the operations of extractive economies and politics, 'resources' as such are equally understood to represent social constructions. Resources reflect the particular scientific knowledge practices, modes of valuation and governance regimes that constitute them. This highlights a need to conceptualize the essence and modes of non-human integration into socio-economic systems, including empirical studies of particular instances when commodification and marketization have failed. Second, while resources are considered as particular, locally and historically contingent framings of the natural environment (and its use value), they have been always 'more than merely economic', i.e. subjects of state security measures, development ambitions, political struggles, and affective engagements. This suggests that the constitution of resources is not merely a matter of geo-scientific and economic expertise, but always has cultural, political and moral implications. Finally, emerging studies in economic anthropology and geography note that many contemporary modes of resource appropriation and exchange are no longer 'material' in the conventional sense, pointing towards a need to address also immaterial assets and financialization, particularly in the exchange of environmental externalities and qualified environmental productivity. The papers will address these three paradoxes by documenting and analysing the changing geographies of resource production, the co-constitution of resources and (im)material economies, and their social and environmental repercussions.

This second session engages with different approaches to re-conceptualise governance systems created and perpetuated from resource making, extraction, and use.  At the scales of corporations, regions, nations, and global governance these papers each explore the impacts of resource governance from a new perspective or paradigm that reflects the significance of changing perceptions and values of natural resources.

Panel Session

Saturday, 4/25/2015, from 2:00 PM - 3:40 PM in Skyway 282, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level

Title: Boom and bust methodology: Opportunities and challenges with conducting fieldwork at sites of resource extraction

Organizers:
Jeffrey S. Jenkins - University of California, Santa Cruz

Abstract:

Fieldwork involves a negotiation of complex relations, interests, situations, and logistics.  The need to review the politics of knowledge and inquiry used by most research frameworks and their associated power imbalances has been repeatedly called for within geography literature (Katz, 1994; Kobayashi, 1994; de Leeuw et al., 2012; Koster et al., 2012).  However, sites of resource booms and busts often include the additional challenges of rapid socio-economic, environmental, and institutional changes, contributing to even more complicated, emotionally charged, and potentially dangerous research conditions. Furthermore, fieldwork associated with a political ecology of the subsoil applies to the sites of extraction and associated infrastructure undergoing change at the multiple stages of resource development and decline; from exploration to environmental review, construction, operation, decline, and post-operational monitoring (Bebbington and Bury 2013. Aschmann 1997). In the American west these extractive energy industries compete with existing 'old west' and 'new west' economies for claims to the value and values associated with landscape (Duane 1999, Walker 2003). The researcher's social license to operate with particular fieldwork-related research methods at sites of resource extraction is thus a product of how participant knowledge of socio-economic, environmental and institutional change is produced between the multiple existing land uses/livelihoods and the change brought by extractive booms and busts. This session builds on the themes and focus first organized for the 2014 AAG panel, "Methodology Issues at Sites of Resource Booms" by Katherine MacDonald, along with panelists Sara Jackson and Ryan Hackett. We would like to build on this content and the discussions from last year's panel by bringing the regional focus back home to sites of resource extraction in western North America.

Key questions we invite panelists to consider include:

1. How does the restructuring of social relationships at sites of resource booms affect researcher-community relations within resource communities?
2. What challenges are associated with researcher's obtaining their own social license to operate within a community undergoing extractive change? And how does the phase of change matter (proposed, developing, operating).
3. How has 'big data' influenced how boom sites are studied with regard to project transparency, connectivity between participants, and the timeline of field studies?
4. What are the social forces that allow emerging extractive projects to take precedence over existing land uses/livelihoods?
5. How do changing institutional policies create conflicting priorities between and within stakeholders, particularly in locations where institutional roles often overlap?
6. How does researcher positionality (gender, ethnic background, language ability, advocacy positions) create challenges within sensitive research communities?
7. How do power relations between researchers and research participants and even between research participants themselves create methodological issues?
8. How do researchers overcome these challenges and how does this enrich debates on methodology issues related to working with vulnerable communities?
9. How do researcher financial constraints impact studies, particularly those in remote or difficult to access areas where costs are often extremely high?

Paper Session

Title: The Politics of Natural Resource Governance in the American West I

Saturday, 4/25/2015, from 2:00 PM - 3:40 PM in Grand Suite 5, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level

Organizers:
Matthew Anderson - Eastern Washington University
Jamie McEvoy - Montana State University

Abstract:

The literature on climate change and natural resource governance is now extensive. Much of this research, particularly in geography and political ecology, remains situated predominantly in the global south. But the impacts and implications of climate change are now increasingly felt across the global north as well, especially in drought-prone regions like the American west. Tensions between dynamics such as increasing water scarcity, extended periods of drought, population growth and urban development are leading many local and state governments to engage in implicit and explicit modes of addressing climate change and resource conservation. As one of two sessions, papers aim to build our knowledge on new and emergent modes of governance related to natural resource conservation (and the implications of this), in the global north in general, but the American west in particular. Topics include neoliberalization processes of natural resource governance, governing responses to a future of likely increased water scarcity, the utility of citizen councils in fostering public participation and awareness in natural resource conservation and management, the role of "science" in guiding the recommendations of planning groups, tensions between natural resource scarcity and urban and population growth, the politics and ensuing conflict of oil and gas development, and communal versus privatized conceptions of resource ownership.

Paper Session

Title: New Economic Geographies of Resources and the Environment III: Extractive Micropolitics

Saturday, 4/25/2015, from 4:00 PM - 5:40 PM in Skyway 272, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level

Organizers:

Abstract:

In a renewed attempt to account for the generative capacities of the environment and material world, a growing body of political economy research interrogates how the distribution, properties and affordances of natural resources affect their regulation, commodification and marketization. These increasingly rich accounts of environment-economy interactions are undermined by a set of paradoxes. First, while the 'biophysical' qualities of resources are recognized to effect upon the operations of extractive economies and politics, 'resources' as such are equally understood to represent social constructions. Resources reflect the particular scientific knowledge practices, modes of valuation and governance regimes that constitute them. This highlights a need to conceptualize the essence and modes of non-human integration into socio-economic systems, including empirical studies of particular instances when commodification and marketization have failed. Second, while resources are considered as particular, locally and historically contingent framings of the natural environment (and its use value), they have been always 'more than merely economic', i.e. subjects of state security measures, development ambitions, political struggles, and affective engagements. This suggests that the constitution of resources is not merely a matter of geo-scientific and economic expertise, but always has cultural, political and moral implications. Finally, emerging studies in economic anthropology and geography note that many contemporary modes of resource appropriation and exchange are no longer 'material' in the conventional sense, pointing towards a need to address also immaterial assets and financialization, particularly in the exchange of environmental externalities and qualified environmental productivity. The papers will address these three paradoxes by documenting and analysing the changing geographies of resource production, the co-constitution of resources and (im)material economies, and their social and environmental repercussions.

This third session explores some of the cultural and political implications of resource extraction. These papers focus upon livelihoods as well as the creation of new social groups and roles for individuals as a result of encounters with resource extraction processes. These events are each situated within diverse geographies of production, resistance, and physical environments.
Paper Session

Title: The Politics of Natural Resource Governance in the American West II

Saturday, 4/25/2015, from 4:00 PM - 5:40 PM in Grand Suite 5, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level

Organizers:
Matthew Anderson - Eastern Washington University
Jamie McEvoy - Montana State University

Abstract:

The literature on climate change and natural resource governance is now extensive. Much of this research, particularly in geography and political ecology, remains situated predominantly in the global south. But the impacts and implications of climate change are now increasingly felt across the global north as well, especially in drought-prone regions like the American west. Tensions between dynamics such as increasing water scarcity, extended periods of drought, population growth and urban development are leading many local and state governments to engage in implicit and explicit modes of addressing climate change and resource conservation. As one of two sessions, papers aim to build our knowledge on new and emergent modes of governance related to natural resource conservation (and the implications of this), in the global north in general, but the American west in particular. Topics include neoliberalization processes of natural resource governance, governing responses to a future of likely increased water scarcity, the utility of citizen councils in fostering public participation and awareness in natural resource conservation and management, the role of "science" in guiding the recommendations of planning groups, tensions between natural resource scarcity and urban and population growth, the politics and ensuing conflict of oil and gas development, and communal versus privatized conceptions of resource ownership.

Paper Session

Saturday, 4/25/2015, from 4:00 PM - 5:40 PM in Dusable, Hyatt, West Tower, Silver Level

Title: DISTurbANCE, Crisis, and Creative Construction

Organizers:
Brian C. Chaffin - National Risk Management Research Laboratory, U.S. EPA
David J. Wrathall - United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security
Betsy A. Beymer-Farris

Abstract:

In this session we will focus on the prospect of disturbance as a choice and as a tool. In ecology, disturbance can be understood as an event in time that disrupts system structure and resource availability. While disturbances can be destructive, they can also be important catalysts for growth, innovation and transformation. With this in mind, many phenomena disturb social-ecological systems and can lead to undesirable changes, even crises. As an example, global climate change will give rise to many types of disturbances to social-ecological systems - and correspondingly a host of actions by individuals, organizations, communities, and governments to manage these disruptions. Actions to mitigate a system's exposure to risk or cope with adverse circumstances can also disturb other systems or system components, creating new crises. In this way, tools to manage disturbance can also cause disturbance. Unexpected, and potentially unfavorable, outcomes can occur when the tool (i.e., policy initiative, development program, etc.) is applied only to manage disturbance. This has been observed many times.  In solving one problem, we create another. However, when tools are also viewed as potential disturbances at other scales or in other sectors, perhaps as potentially useful or constructive disturbances, the prospect for unintended negative consequences may diminish. In other words, designing tools to manage AND create disturbance may offer a tractable path forward as we attempt to manage and govern complex social-ecological systems through uncertain times.

Through this session we hope to explore this idea through empirical and/or conceptual papers that focus on disturbances as choices and/or tools.  Important themes may include but are not limited to:

• Reflections on how disturbances are employed by environmental governance actors (both wittingly or unwittingly);
• Explorations of who creates and who experiences disturbance, and the associated outcomes; and
• Failures, successes, and/or strategies for success in employing disturbance as a tool






















 





 




 













 

 

 

 

 

 

Subpages (1): Calls for Papers
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