University to host Green New Deal debate and climate conference

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THE University of Stirling will play host to a student-led economics conference that centres around the current environmental issues facing the planet. The event, named Bleeding Green: The Economics of a Changing Climate, will take place on March 28.

Though organised predominantly by economics students, the event boasts speakers such as Dr Hannes Stephan, who is currently responsible for three environmental-related module in the university’s politics department, as well as a speaker from Zero Waste Scotland. Stirling’s Professor of Environmental Economics, Frans de Vries, will also feature amongst the list of speakers.

Promising a dramatic climax, the speakers will round off the talks by partaking in a panel debate on the Green New Deal, American legislation that hopes to tackle economic inequality and the environmental crisis.

Accompanying the range of speakers, stalls run by University Societies such as the Marine Conservation Society will also feature on the day. Organisers of the conference has invited several societies to attend, with the hope that they will provide their own perspectives on the environmental crisis.

The day will be drawn to a close with a social gathering that allows for opportunities to network.  

Chair of the committee organising the event, Sebastian Kiecker, a third-year Politics, Philosophy and Economics student, spoke on why the environment was the topic that was chosen, stating that it was “the most relevant issue currently.”  

Credit: Stirling University Economics Society

He added: “the environmental crisis is looming and we are lucky enough to have a lot of expertise in the environmental field within the University. We wanted to utilise that and produce something that is good for the students and the University itself.”

When asked why he thought an event like this had not already been established, Kiecker answered that “our university is known predominantly for its sporting prestige,” and that “the interest for an economics conference just wasn’t there.” 

However, Kiecker is optimistic to “get out there” and “show [our] talent.” He hopes that the conference will aid the university’s ability to have its voice heard in economic debates globally.  

Kiecker aims to make economics more accessible to everyone, whilst addressing such a poignant issue in our current situation.

He stated, “one of my hopes is that people; students and the public, gain some valuable insights into the environment.”

“Our lecturers are very good at explaining very complex issues,” Kiecker stated, emphasising that the event will be accessible to anyone, economics background or not. 

“It’s really important to hold events that actually matter to students. I know that in economics courses and probably many others, you aren’t usually dealing with issues like climate change.”

Pitching the event as the interview comes to a close, Kiecker urges people to “come along, give it a try,” especially seeing as “it’s free of charge and [they] provide drinks and lunch.”

In the future, Kiecker hopes to see the conference span two days, continuing its diverse approach to a topic of focus, inviting speakers from a multitude of disciplines to share their understanding on various matters. Proposed topics for future years include inequality and behavioural economics. 

Tickets can be found free of charge here.

Feature Image Credit: Rachael Warriner –

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Brig Secretary 2019-2020. Studying Politics BA(Hons).

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