Energy Ethics

  • Founded
  • Seminar Number

The Columbia University Seminar on Energy Ethics engages leaders from economics, sustainable development, politics, climate law, environmental studies, disaster studies, international relations, geography, philosophy, ethics, theology, medicine, as well as activists, to discuss energy ethics with a multidisciplinary approach.  The seminar addresses the need for a multilateral dialogue between ethicists, energy experts, and policy analysts, while engaging diverse ethical and philosophical frameworks that supply ethical principles. Energy drives what is arguably the greatest crisis of our time, climate change.  Sustainable solutions to climate change depend upon effective, scalable, low or zero-carbon energy technologies and energy policies that incentivize them in a complex global system.  True sustainability requires that energy technologies and energy policies are deployed with careful regard to all of the impacts, costs, benefits, and trade-offs between stakeholders, including the rights of future generations and ecosystemic health. In other words, energy decisions are profoundly ethical decisions that require the input of experts from multiple sectors.

Professor Erin Lothes

Rosalind Donald

Meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please confirm details with the seminar rapporteur.




10/05/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
1:00 PM


12/06/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
12:00 PM
Human Rights Theory
Michael Burger, Columbia University

Respondent: Elke Weber, Princeton University

02/14/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
12:00 PM
Forrest Clingermann, Ohio Northern University and Editor of Theological and Ethical Perspectives on Climate Engineering

Respondent: Philip Kitcher, Columbia University

04/11/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
12:00 PM
Labor Rights and Claims in Conflict
Christine Firer Hinze, Fordham University

Invited Respondent: John Russo, Georgetown University