Call for Papers/Panelists: Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, April 6-10, 2020, Denver, CO 

Paper Session: Environmental Justice, Communities and Just Energy Transitions

Organizers: Marissa Bell, University at Buffalo (SUNY); Sara Peterson, University at Buffalo (SUNY)


In recent years we have seen the emergence of the field of energy justice and, concurrently, we have seen the centering of communities in discussions of energy policy, security, consumption, and transitions. In this time, communities have gained prominence as both the objects and subjects of energy debates, as the focus of conversations have increasingly turned to understanding both the ways in which existing energy decision-making procedures impact communities as well as the ways in which these same communities might become empowered within these energy decision-making and governance processes. This focus on communities is essential to effecting sustainable, just, and equitable energy for communities; it is all the more invaluable in a cultural climate rife with uncertainty, political distrust, and ‘false news’.

Through this session, we would like to shed light on the various forms of environmental governance that center communities in some form or another and facilitate conversations amongst the diverse range of geographers working in this domain. Recognizing and embracing the wide range of focus areas and methodological approaches that are pertinent to questions of environmental governance, communities, and energy justice, we welcome abstracts using a range of methodological approaches on a variety of themes including, but not limited to:

  • Participatory and deliberative energy decision-making
  • Incorporation of different forms of knowledge into energy governance
  • Siting of large energy infrastructure (including for example, nuclear waste siting)
  • Metric development for community-based interests
  • Case studies using energy justice framework
  • Scale and conceptualizations of community for purpose of participation
  • Impacts of energy infrastructure on communities
  • Community-based energy justice initiatives
  • Community solar and renewable energy projects
  • Contestation of environmental governance
  • Future implications for energy justice and geography

We invite those who would be interested in participation as paper presenters or panelists. Interested applicants should send abstracts of 200 words to Marissa Bell ( or Sara Peterson ( by October 11th, specifying whether you would be interested in being a paper presenter or panelist. Accepted applicants will be notified by October 21st.