Programme

The European Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment (ECSEE) is a multidisciplinary conference held concurrently with The European Conference on the Social Sciences (ECSS). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either of these conferences permits attendance in both.

This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


  • The End of Refugee Law?
    The End of Refugee Law?
    Keynote Presentation: David James Cantor
  • Ensuring Equality from the “Low Carbon Dividend”
    Ensuring Equality from the “Low Carbon Dividend”
    Featured Presentation: Tom Houghton

Previous Programming

View details of programming for past ECSEE conferences via the links below.

The End of Refugee Law?
Keynote Presentation: David James Cantor

Debates about the end of the global refugee protection regime presuppose a failure of refugee law. Certainly, the plethora of news accounts documenting the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees across the world is sometimes taken to suggest that refugee law has somehow failed in its objectives. Can it be that refugee law has outlived its utility? Has it failed to articulate a shared set of values in international relations? Are we looking at the “end days” of refugee law?

The narrow discipline of refugee law might seem poorly positioned to contribute to “big picture” debates about the future of refugee law and protection. However, this is not to say that a view from within the refugee law discipline might not usefully complement broader social and political analyses. Not least since, alongside the wider contextual challenges, the coherence and viability of refugee law is itself also being called into question by trends within refugee law that work to undermine its potential to articulate a shared global vision of refugee protection.

Exploring the potential of refugee law to contribute to the development of a new global vision of refugee protection is the aim of this paper. It is also a research agenda that refugee law scholars are particularly well-placed to follow. In order to do so, this paper cautions that we must first overcome three constraints in our conceptual and methodological approach. By surmounting them, though, we may help to articulate a new and coherent “global” vision of refugee law relevant not only to reshaping the practice of the law but also to broader debates on the future of refugee protection.

Link to paper: https://doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/hux022

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Ensuring Equality from the “Low Carbon Dividend”
Featured Presentation: Tom Houghton

Climate change has been described as the most pressing issue of the age and research shows that its effects will be felt unequally across the globe with the poor south more likely to suffer from rising sea levels and disruption of food production than the richer north. Mitigating actions, especially the replacement of fossil fuels with alternative forms of energy, could reduce this inequality and the continuing fall in the cost of renewables offers the prospect of cheaper energy for all, increasing energy access and reducing the incidence of energy poverty.

With reference to two recent studies into energy poverty in Western Australia, we show that the advantages described above are by no means guaranteed. While many are enjoying a “low carbon dividend” as they switch to more energy efficient appliances and install solar panels, the most vulnerable in society are often unable to access these benefits, owing to their income status or housing tenure, and may actually see their energy bills increasing as fossil fuel prices rise and measures to price carbon take effect. We explore the effects of decarbonisation and rising energy costs across different household types and discuss the implications for future policy.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.