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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.


Ecocide and the 'polluter pays' principle: the case of fracking - by Professor Karen Hulme and Professor Damien Short. Originally published in Environmental Scientist

A Human Rights Assessment of Hydraulic Fracturing and Other Unconventional Gas Development in the United Kingdom - Anna Grear, Director of the GNHRE, Evadne Grant GNHRE Coordinator, Dr Tom Kerns, Director of Environment and Human Rights Advisory, Professor Karen Morrow, core team member GNHRE. Dr Damien Short, Reader in Human Rights, and Director of the Human Rights Consortium and Extreme Energy Initiative at the School of Advanced Study, University of London

International collaborators

Paul Mobbs (UK)

Dr Jannette Barth, Pepacton Institute LLC and Director, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy (USA)

Michael T Klare, Hampshire College (USA)

Chip Northrup (USA)

Aidan Ricketts, School of Law & Justice, Southern Cross University (Australia)

Dr Steffen Böhm, Essex Sustainability Institute, University of Essex (UK)

Jessica Ernst (Canada)

Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN (International POPs Elimination Network) & National Toxics Network (NTN) Inc (Australia)

Supporting Campaigns

Platform -

Frack Off -

FrackFreeSomerset -

Biofuelwatch -

Bioenergy Action -  

Climate Justice Collective -

UK Tar Sands Network -