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Individual Paper: Emergy accounting as a tool to assess megaprojects.

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Megaprojects are proposed and built in the sectors of energy, waste, and transportation. Both in the Global North and in the Global South, such projects are frequently opposed by local communities, usually not even involved in decisions if not just for show. As a consequence, conflicts arise, but the debate is often focused on the same financial sector where the controversy started. In order to thoroughly include social, environmental, and financial elements, we propose to apply the emergy accounting approach (Odum, 1996; Brown & Ulgiati, 2016). Rooted in systems thinking, such approach allows for the evaluation of direct and indirect "costs" required for the production of a good or for the delivery of a service; this is done in terms of energy, matter, and information (including labour), and from a donor-side perspective: i.e., what is considered is not the market value bestowed from the receiver, but that associated with what happened upstream, including environmental services for the provision of a resource or for the restoration of a ecosystem. Framing an issue systemically can reveal the real goals of a project, not always overlapping the declared ones. This way, the energy, waste, and transportation plans behind many megaprojects might be revised in light of social, environmental, and economic aspects generally left out by conventional top-down decision-making approaches.


Day: 2018-08-23
Start time: 11:00
Duration: 00:15
Room: ABF205
Track: Public Sector (e.g. transport, healthcare, education)



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