Humanizing sociotechnical transitions through energy justice : an ethical framework for global transformative change
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Poverty, climate change and energy security demand awareness about the interlinkages between energy systems and social justice. Amidst these challenges, energy justice has emerged to conceptualize a world where all individuals, across all areas, have safe, affordable and sustainable energy that is, essentially, socially just. Simultaneously, new social and technological solutions to energy problems continually evolve, and interest in the concept of sociotechnical transitions has grown. However, an element often missing from such transitions frameworks is explicit engagement with energy justice frameworks. Despite the development of an embryonic set of literature around these themes, an obvious research gap has emerged: can energy justice and transitions frameworks be combined? This paper argues that they can. It does so through an exploration of the multi-level perspective on sociotechnical systems and an integration of energy justice at the model's niche, regime and landscape level. It presents the argument that it is within the overarching process of sociotechnical change that issues of energy justice emerge. Here, inattention to social justice issues can cause injustices, whereas attention to them can provide a means to examine and potential resolve them.
Jenkins , K , Sovacool , B & McCauley , D 2018 , ' Humanizing sociotechnical transitions through energy justice : an ethical framework for global transformative change ' Energy Policy , vol 117 , pp. 66-74 . DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.02.036
© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).
The authors are appreciative to the Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK) Energy Program Grant EP/K011790/1 “Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand,” which has supported elements of the work reported here, as well as research grants from the ESRC (ES/I001425/1) and EPSRC (EP/I035390/1). The third author would like to thank the ESRC and EPSRC for funding this research agenda.
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