Noel Healy

Professional Details

Title Professor
Department Geography and Sustainability
Office Meier Hall 326B
Phone 978.542.2542
Photo of Noel Healy

Recent and Upcoming Courses

FYGE 100 First Year Seminar (geography)
GPH 100P Weather and Climate
GPH 105 Foundations of Global Studies: People, Place, and Environment
GPH 105H Foundations of Global Studies: People Places and Environment (honors)
GPH 115 Global Climate Change: Causes and Consequences
GPH 180 Saving the World- Social Justice in An Era of Climate Change
GPH 246 Parks and Protected Areas
GPH 366 Energy and the Environment
GPH 400 Directed Study in Geography

Professional Biography

Professor Noel Healy’s research, teaching, and community engagement focuses on the socio-political aspects of rapid climate change mitigation, climate justice, public policy and inequality, fossil fuel politics, and economic and racial justice in climate and energy policy. Dr. Healy is a contributing author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report (AR6/WGIII), is on the editorial board of Energy Research and Social Sciences and is on the advisory board of Cell Reports: Sustainability. He was an invited speaker at the prestigious Oxford Union in May 2024. 

Professor Healy is the Director of the Climate Justice and Just Transitions Lab at SSU. He is a former Ludwig-Maximilian University (LMU) of Munich Rachel Carson Fellow, and currently a Global Center for Climate Justice Research Fellow, and a visiting professor at EAFIT University Medellín. His research is published in journals such as One EarthEnergy Policy, Energy Research and Social Science, Climatic Change, Local Environment, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, Society and Natural Resources, Tourism Management, and Marine Policy. Joule previewed his Green New Deal research. He is also published in The Guardian, The Hill, and Scientific AmericanThe Conversation, Common Dreams, The Boston Globe, Colombian national radio WRadioDeSmogBlogThe TimesGizmodo, and Forbes have reported on Dr. Healy's research. 

Professor Healy’s projects have secured over $223,000 in research grants and have spanned Ireland, the US, China, Germany, and Latin America. His research explores complex questions around the political ecology of rapid energy transitions, transboundary responsibilities and impacts of fossil fuel supply chains, and explores where and how policies aimed at decarbonizing the economy can address the range of inequities and impacts connected to socio-energy transitions. Current projects include investigating: (1) the impacts of fossil fuel resistance movements in confronting fossil fuel lock-in, (2) the socio-environmental impacts of fracking and open-pit coal mining in the US and Colombia, (3) the efficacy of Green New Deal policymaking and the potential for redistributive climate policies, (4) “just transition” strategies for fossil-fuel-rich third-world countries, and (5) fossil fuel interest group obstructionism and corporate capture within US energy regulatory systems.

Originally from Ireland, Noel first came to the US in 2005 to study at the Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management (ESPM) at UC Berkeley. He received his PhD at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2009 and is now a Full Professor of Geography and Sustainability at Salem State University. Dr. Healy founded the SSU Fossil Fuel Divestment campaign and the SSU Faculty For Divestment group. A four-year campaign led SSU to commit to divest from fossil fuels in 2016. Dr. Healy’s work with the Multi-School Fossil Fuel Divestment Fund raised $74,000 for two endowed student scholarships at SSU. On two Witness For Peace delegations to La Guajira, Colombia Professor Healy provided expert testimony on the forcible displacement of indigenous Wayúu, Afro-Colombian and campesino communities by open-pit coal mining in La Guajira, Colombia. In 2018 he was awarded with a Salem State University Civic Engagement Hall of Fame award. 

Professional Interests

  • Climate justice
  • Environmental justice 
  • Just Transitions
  • Political ecology 
  • Fossil fuel interest group obstructionism 
  • Climate and energy policy
  • Public policy and inequality 
  • Green New Deals
  • Fossil fuel politics 
  • Political economy of energy and extractive industries
  • Global Climate Governance
  • Participatory processes in environmental decision-making 

Selected Publications

Donaghy, T. Q., Healy, N., Jiang, C. Y., & Battle, C. P. (2023). Fossil fuel racism in the United States: How phasing out coal, oil, and gas can protect communitiesEnergy Research & Social Science

Green, F., & Healy, N. (2022). How Inequality Fuels Climate Change: The Climate Case for a Green New Deal. One Earth. 

Basseches, J. A., Bromley-Trujillo, R., Boykoff, M. T., Culhane, T., Hall, G., Healy, N., ... & Stephens, J. C. (2022). Climate policy conflict in the US states: a critical review and way forward. Climatic Change170(3), 1-24.

Galvin, R., & Healy, N. (2020). The Green New Deal Is More Relevant Than Ever. Scientific American, April 22nd. 

Galvin, R., & Healy, N. (2020). The Green New Deal in the United States: What it is and how to pay for itEnergy Research & Social Science67, 101529.

Trencher, G., Healy, N., Hasegawa, k., & Asuka, J. (2019). Discursive resistance to phasing out coal-fired electricity: Narratives in Japan's coal regime. Energy Policy, 132, 782-796.

Healy, N., Stephens, J.C., Malin, S. (2019). Embodied energy injustices: Unveiling and politicizing the transboundary harms of fossil fuel extractivism and fossil fuel supply chains. Energy Research & Social Science48, 219-234.

Healy, N., & Weis, T. (2019). Climate Justice and the challenge to global tourism. In, Jamal, T. Justice and Ethics in Tourism. Sage.

Flannery, W., Healy, N., & Luna, M. (2018). Exclusion and non-participation in Marine Spatial Planning. Marine Policy88, 32-40.

Healy, N.  & Barry, J. (2017). Politicizing Energy Justice and Energy System Transitions: Fossil fuel divestment and a "just transition". Energy Policy, 108, 451-742. 

Healy, N., Debski, J*., (2017). Fossil fuel divestment: Implications for the future of sustainability discourse and action within higher education. Local Environ. 1-26.


2023: Climate Social Science Network Grant (Brown University)

2022. Climate Social Science Network Grant (Brown University)

2022. Salem State University Seed Grant

2021. Salem State University Flash Grant

2020. Salem State University Scholarship Support Grant

2019. Salem State University Summer Grant

2018. Salem State University Civic Engagement Hall of Fame

2018.  Salem State University Seed Grant 

2017. Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich Rachael Carson Fellow 

2017. German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Faculty Scholarship 

Selected Presentations

Keynote and invited talks (2017-present)

Healy, N. (2024) International Climate Policy is Neo-Imperalist. Oxford Union. University of Oxford. May 2nd. 

Healy, N (2022). The Green New Deal Policy Paradigm: Good policy and good politics. Invited talk. Global Development Policy Center, Boston University, Nov 3rd.

Healy, N (2022). Tacking climate and inequality together: The case for a Green New Deal. Salem State Earth Climate Lecture. April 5th. 

Healy, N (2021). A just transition for whom? The contested politics of global decarbonization. Invited talk to the Economic Democracy initiative, Open Society University Network, Bard College. July 13th. 

Healy, N (2021) The Green New Deal: From Just Transitions to Great Transformations. Invited talk Utrecht University GND Workshop 17th February 

Healy, N (2021) The Green New Deal: Go Big or Go Home. Biology Department Earth Day Series. UMASS Boston 23rd April 2021 

Healy, N (2020). The Green New Deal: Politics and Practice. The Green New Deal Explained? October 20th, Salem State University  

Healy, N (2018). Workshop organizer. Tackling the cultural and institutional dimensions of carbon lock-in. University of Oxford. 

Healy, N (2018). How social movement activism fosters restrictive supply-side climate policies. Department of Sociology, UC, Santa Barbara, April 20th.

Healy, N (2018). Limiting climate chaos: The case for disruptive climate politics. Department of Sociology, UC, Santa Barbara, April 18th.

Healy, N (2018). Disrupting carbon lock-in: The catalytic impact of the fossil fuel divestment movement. ESPM, UC, Berkeley, April 3rd.

Healy, N (2018). Workshop organizer. Anti-fossil fuel politics: social activism, government policy and international cooperation. ESPM, UC, Berkeley, April 3rd

Healy, N (2017). Limiting climate chaos: The case for disruptive climate politics. Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Rachael Carson Center Lunchtime Colloquium. Nov 2nd.

Healy, N (2017). The Catalytic Impact of global fossil fuel resistance movements. Department of Geography Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Nov 24th.

Conference paper presentations (2017-present)

Donaghy, T., Jiang, C., Pichon Battle, C., Healy, N. (2022) Fossil fuel racism: How phasing out oil, gas, and coal can protect Communities. International Fossil fuel supply conference, University of Oxford. 26th-27th Sept.

Healy, N., Supran, G., Cook, J., Achakulwisut, P., Piggot, G., Erickson, P., Jechova* L., Ugochi I* (2019)Supply-side climate policies: The overlooked climate policy “toolkit”. Association of American Geographers April 3-7. Washington DC. 

Healy, N (2018). Confronting fossil fuel lock-in. The catalytic impact of the fossil fuel divestment movement. Fossil Fuel Supply & Climate Policy. Oxford University. 

Healy, N (2017). Embodied energy justice: cross-scalar issues of global energy justice in the shift from coal to natural gas. Equity and Energy Justice – Low Carbon Energy for Development Network Conference, University of Durham.

Healy, N (2017). Reconceptualizing energy (in)justice: Democratizing energy system transitions, divestment and a 'just transition'. Conference paper at the Association of American Geographers, Boston. 

Debski, J* and Healy, N (2017). Fossil fuel divestment: Implications for the future of sustainability discourse and action within higher education. Conference paper at the Association of American Geographers, Boston. 

Healy, N & DeMasi, D*. (2017). The military-industrial-complex and climate change: Connecting demilitarization and decarbonization. AAG. Boston

Personal Interests


2024: International Climate Policy is Neo-Imperalist. Professor Noel healy Address to the Oxford Union. (YouTube)

2024: Oxford Union believes international climate policy is neo-imperalist. (Cherwell)

2022: ¿Por qué es inexcusable para las empresas no asumir la justicia climática? (Forbes)

2022: How inequality makes climate change worse (The Boston Globe)

2022: Inequality fuels the climate crisis (op-ed in The Hill)

2022: Funding GND Requires Political Will - Interview with Noel Healy (Global Center for Climate Justice).

2021: Global Climate Policy Reboot: Launching a US-Canada Fossil Fuel Phase Out (Common Dreams)

2021: Climate change policy: Bigger picture policies (Solar Tribune)

2020: We can afford a green New Deal (GIZMODO)

2019: From declarations of climate emergencies to climate action (Queens University Policy blog)

2019: Judge Blocks Oil and Gas Leases on Public Land, Citing Climate Change 

2019: Healy, N., Stephen, J.C., Malin, S. (2019). Fossil fuels are bad for your health and harmful in many ways beyond climate change. The Conversation. 

2018: Blood coal in Colombia burned in Ireland (Climate Case Ireland)

2018: What Terrible Injustices Are Hiding Behind American Energy Habits? (DeSmogBlog)

2018: Source of Moneypoint Coal a burning issue (Clare Champion)

2018: Interview with Colombian National Radio (W-Radio)

2018: Blood Coal: Ireland's dirty secret (The Guardian)

2018: Confronting fossil fuel lock-in: The catalytic impact of the fossil fuel divestment movement (University of Oxford YouTube)

2018: ESB buying coal from 'harrowing' Colombian mine (The Times)

2018: Noel Healy awarded SSU Civic Engagement Hall of Fame award (Salem News)

2018: Dr. Noel Healy organizes international workshop on anti-fossil fuel politics at UC, Berkeley (Link to press release)

2018: Limiting Climate Chaos: The case for disruptive climate politics (Rachael Carson Center YouTube).

2018. Exxon Mislead public for 40 years on climate change study finds (Quoted in Irish Times)

2016: System change not climate change – The climate crisis and the fight for global justice (Primary Source YouTube).

2015: Fossil fuel divestment: Strategies, tactics, and framing of a powerful movement (Link)