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Extreme Energy Initiative

Please visit our dedicated project website here:

As conventional fossil fuels become exhausted governments and corporations are turning to progressively more extreme methods to secure energy supplies with increasingly severe social and environmental consequences, for the growing numbers of people affected. While, until recently, the Athabasca tar sands in Canada was the poster child for such practices, a whole raft of new techniques such as shale oil and gas, coal-bed methane and underground coal gasification are now threatening to become ubiquitous throughout large parts of the globe. Energy extraction is already a major driver of human rights abuses worldwide but the scope and severity of these impacts seem set to massively increase in the near future.

The Extreme Energy Initiative is the only academic forum in the world to concentrate specifically on the effects of unconventional fossil fuel extraction on society and the environment. The methods and practices of extreme energy extraction are necessarily fast changing as resources deplete and new more extreme methods are developed to try to replace them. This poses challenges for research in terms of the timely dissemination of information. To this end, the Extreme Energy Initiative will host conferences, workshops, seminars and short courses, and initiate and facilitate publishing. The initiative will bring together scholars, practitioners, policy makers and activists working on issues related to extreme energy production and its human rights implications in order to stimulate discussion and collaboration and enhance relevant policy impact nationally and internationally.

The Extreme Energy Initiative collaborates with numerous colleagues internationally and in the UK, and with a number of supporting campaigns.


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Image courtesy of Garth Lenz


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