Publication Alternatives to Society - Socio-ecological Transformation - Climate Justice - COP 23 Claiming justice matters in energy policy

Why energy policy is not only about economic or ecological issues, but also fundamental requires the consideration of impacts on social justice.



Policy Papers


Anna Fünfgeld,


November 2017

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Energy policy is one of today’s major challenges for modern societies. The question whether and to what extent we have access to energy highly affects our everyday lives. Moreover, impacts from energy usage – notably from greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions, or from changes in land use – upon living conditions may be tremendous, from the local to the global scale. It is therefore of great importance to further think, speak, and discuss about future trajectories of energy production and supply. From a leftist perspective, it is important that these considerations do not only address economic or ecological issues on a broader scale, but further include ethical considerations of a socially just energy future. Moreover, in view of decreasing production costs for renewable energy technology and rising awareness about climate change impacts all over the world, it is the right time to place the topic of energy justice more prominently on domestic and international agendas and link it to ongoing debates on climate change, development, economic growth, sustainability, and so on. This must be done by applying a broad understanding of social justice, taking into account the full range of justice issues, including the distribution of costs and benefits as well as recognition-related aspects connected to energy production and supply.