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The Promise and Pitfall of the Green Energy Transition Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference (NESS) 2024

Global agendas, national initiatives and business actors are all increasingly driving a transformation from reliance on fossil fuel to the use of renewable energy sources in efforts to reduce anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and their contributions to climate change. Today, 192 countries and the EU have ratified or acceded the historic 2015 Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty entailing a global commitment to reach 45% emissions reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050. Thus, there is enormous pressure to meet increasing energy demands by massively expanding the production of biomass-based, hydro, wind and solar energy. This is widely regarded as essential for achieving global sustainability ambitions and to accelerate our pathway to a zero-emission society. However, the extensive interventions involved in such initiatives have widely varying effects on human communities and individuals. This has spurred a debate on what characterizes a just or unjust transition, and the consequences for society and for different actors. Energy efficiency and renewable energy development are at the core of Europe’s commitment to a clean energy transition that serves the needs of citizens, economic development, and the environment. But how is this implemented in reality?

This workshop calls for papers on a broad range of topics that critically examine the transition to green energy, from the local to the global level. We welcome papers with different theoretical, methodological, and empirical approaches, as long as they that provide insights on the potentials and/or pitfalls of the ongoing transition to sustainable energy systems. We would particularly like to see papers that propose or develop new theoretical perspectives and methods to address the green transition in a Nordic perspective. Please send your paper abstract to the following addresses (; cc:

Paper abstracts should be no longer than 300 words and be submitted no later than 30 November 2023. Paper abstracts typically contain: A preliminary title, aim/research question, framework, a note on data and a (tentative) conclusion. You will get notified on acceptance/decline by 15 January 2024. Full papers are expected to be delivered no later than 20 May 2024.


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