The Energy & Environment Speciality Group is proud to sponsor seven types of awards:

Mehrnush Golriz, University of California Los Angeles

Lithium governance and lawscapes in Chile's Atacama Salt Flats

Current Winners:

Wellington Romão Oliveria, Research Institute of Meteorology and Water Resources (FUNCEME)

Yue Guo, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

My research is at the interface of energy geography, economic geography, international business, and international political economy, with a focus on globalization and sustainability transitions of energy companies. I work on the integration of Chinese national energy companies into global networks of production and finance, shedding light on an important contemporary dynamic shaping high and low carbon transitions. Specifically, I study the case of overseas investment of China’s national oil companies (NOCs), investigating the process of strategic coupling and network switching in oil and gas sector within different foreign territories, as well as the evolutionary path of the company to adapt to regional low-carbon transition. Serving as Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer at the Energy Geographies Research Group (EnGRG) of the RGS-IBG, I operate a WeChat Official Account on energy geographies, which is dedicated to introducing international events in the field of energy geographies for Chinese scholars. I am willing to further promote academic exchanges between Chinese energy geographers and international peers.

Yue Guo, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

"Globalization and decarbonization: Changing strategies of global oil and gas companies"


Oil and gas (O&G) companies that are key players in the contemporary global energy landscape have  evolved within the context of a dynamic interaction between states and markets. However, their role  is being transformed radically by two ‘global shifts’ in succession: economic globalisation—driving  energy demand growth patterns—and climate change—driving energy system transformation and  decarbonisation, both of which require them to reconsider their business strategies. Using an  interdisciplinary lens that mainly draws on economic geography, strategy and international business,  and international political economy, we propose an integrated conceptual framework for two  periods—the 1990s-early 2000s and the post-Paris Agreement era—to explore the nature of strategic  responses by O&G companies to these global economic and environmental shifts. In this paper, we  examine three of Susan Strange (1988) four quintessential dimensions of structural power: production,  finance, and knowledge, and use them as a bridge between two strategies used by O&G companies  to reconstruct landscapes and transition to sustainability. The remaining quintessential dimension,  namely security, is regarded as energy security as one of the priorities in the macro external  environment. It is becoming increasingly difficult for oil and gas companies to deal with contradictions:  on the one hand, climate goals require a significant reduction in fossil fuel use, and pressures from  governments, non-governmental organizations, and investors threaten their long-term survival.  Meanwhile, fossil fuel demand will remain high in the short to medium term. At the same time, the  post-pandemic recovery and Russia’s war in Ukraine are resulting in a re-assessment of the benefits  of unfettered globalisation, and a movement towards a new world order is gaining pace. Therefore,  global O&G companies face dual challenges in the new era of (re-)globalisation and decarbonisation,  and need to make changes to ensure their future viability. 

Ankit Kumar, The University of Sheffield

"Energy geographies in/of the Anthropocene: Where now?" (2022) Geographic Compass 16(10): e12659 


The Anthropocene has thrown at us a challenge of balancing urgency and justice. Urgency brought about by myriad environmental crises, most prominently being climate change, and justice that any adequate response to these crises needs to be rooted in. This is a dilemma because we need pathways for urgent action on climate mitigation and energy transitions while centring the slow and considered work that historical and contemporary justice questions demand. This is because while the Anthropocene calls humans to unite, its impacts have been, are, and will be, felt differently. The Anthropocene narrative's framing of a universal humanity connects to a long and dangerous history of what is human and what qualifies as humanity, a history of colonising, racializing, and dehumanising black, brown, and indigenous bodies around the world. We need narratives of the Anthropocene that confirm the importance of decolonising political, economic, and scientific institutions, not to deny urgency, but to foster a more political Anthropocene that creates space for new narratives of justice. The question then, that this paper initiates, is: How to progress anti–and de-colonial thought for energy geographies within a somewhat colonising discourse of urgency in/of the Anthropocene? To think of energy geographies of/in the Anthropocene, one that explicitly embeds within itself justice, this paper outlines three areas of work. First, the paper proposes a need to engage with and learn from energy histories other than those from the Euro-American contexts. Second, it urges more focus on the question of difference. Third, the paper proposes a deeper engagement with critical race theory and postcolonial/decolonial theories to investigate questions of justice. These proposals are provocations to open energy geographies to a wider range of questions, approaches, and concerns. 

Current Winner: No Applicants

7) Luten Lifetime Achievement Award