Energy conference to highlight role of ethics, responsibility

February 26, 2008

KNOXVILLE -- As global energy consumption rises, the ethical stakes of environmental action -- or inaction -- may be rising with it.

Experts from academia, business and the environmental community will converge on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this April to discuss these issues and more.

Energy and Responsibility: A Conference on Ethics and the Environment will be held April 10-12 at the Knoxville Hilton, located at 501 W. Church Ave. Featuring a variety of keynotes and panel discussions, the event will address topics from energy generation to consumption.

The conference is open to members of the business and academic communities, as well as those from the environmental fields and members of the public with an interest in these topics.

"We're bringing together groups of people that don't often talk with each other," said John Nolt, professor of environmental ethics at UT Knoxville and one of the conference organizers. "The discussions should be productive and thought-provoking."

Keynote speakers at the conference include noted environmental researcher Robert Socolow of Princeton University, ethicist and human rights expert Henry Shue of Oxford College, and Dale Bryk of Yale University, an expert on state-level climate and energy policy.

Panel discussions will address a wide variety of topics, including the realities of environmental decision-making for business, the impact of technological environmental solutions and sustainable planning.

Panels will include experts from UT Knoxville, as well as representatives from Alcoa and Frito-Lay addressing corporate sustainability, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the African Development Bank, and universities around the world -- from Bangladesh to Puerto Rico to the Netherlands.

"It's truly global and truly interdisciplinary," said Nolt.
-end-
The conference, hosted by a number of UT Knoxville departments, is sponsored by UT, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Alcoa, the Charter on Human Responsibilities (U.S.), and the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club.

More information on the conference, including a full list of speakers, panels and abstracts can be found online at http://isse.utk.edu/energy_and_responsibility/.

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

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