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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 Michael Gerrard

Professor Erin Lothes


All seminars will continue to meet virtually through Fall 2021. Meeting links provided upon RSVP. Meeting dates and times are subject to change.

Meeting Schedule