The term "energy justice" refers to the pursuit of social and economic
fairness in the energy sector and the alleviation of the economic, social, and
health burdens experienced by those disproportionately affected by it.
Working-class people, indigenous people, and those who have been historically
marginalised due to racial and socioeconomic inequities are all major issues in
the fight for energy justice.
Energy justice aims to ensure that all communities have access to inexpensive,
clean, and democratically-managed energy. Market expansion in energy has been
largely seen as a vital component of economic progress during the twentieth
century. Researchers and politicians have often ignored Basalla's call for a
social debate on the energy industry's features.
However, the rising difficulties linked to energy operations, such as global
warming, energy poverty, and the widespread use of dangerous energy technology,
have led to a resurgence of social concerns that go beyond traditional technical
or economic analyses. Efforts to apply environmental justice principles to a
wider range of issues have grown in complexity conceptually during the past 40
years. Because of this progression, "energy justice" might be seen as an
Research on energy justice has grown significantly in the academic community
since its inception, raising crucial concerns about the role of energy
organisations in addressing rising socioeconomic inequalities and accompanying
challenges with energy as costs rise ever higher. Energy justice research has
been more popular.
However, analytical and conceptual frameworks utilised in the area have
primarily focused on social circumstances and processes, with little
consideration of foundational economic and political systems. Environmental
justice research inspired the framework based on three justice
principles—distributional, procedural, and recognised justice-to analyse
discriminatory energy policies and programmes.
The three tenets that apply to energy are summarised in the following
paragraphs. Distributional justice ensures that energy production's costs and
benefits are fairly distributed across society. Fuel poverty is one example of a
distributional injustice that occurs when income, energy costs, and living
conditions are all unequally distributed. Procedural justice demands that all
stakeholders in the energy decision-making process participate equally and
Procedural justice requires full disclosure of relevant facts and appropriate
legislative instruments to facilitate public involvement. Understanding the
various forms of vulnerability and specialised requirements linked with energy
systems among different socioeconomic groups is emphasised by recognising
justice (especially in marginalised communities).
A conceptual foundation is provided by the three-tenet framework, but it does
not directly address the complex political and economic processes that often
cause energy injustice when identifying and assessing issues related to communal
energy (including fuel poverty). Rather than focusing on the root causes of the
problem, the framework focuses on 'tailpipe' issues and solutions, such as
increasing accessibility and affordability.
Consequently, the border between energy poverty and energy justice is frequently
set at this point. For cooking and heating, well over 1.3 billion people
worldwide still use wood, animal waste, or kerosene; even this large number is
insufficient for the needs of 2.7 billion other people worldwide. There are
around 220 million individuals in cities throughout the world who do not have
access to power.
When it comes to both power production and consumption, India ranks fourth
overall. However, 304 million Indians still do not have reliable electricity in
India, with 18.24 million living in metropolitan areas of the country. It is
also a component of the climate change dilemma that the country, states, and the
world community are facing."
That which is most susceptible to climate change's effects (such as extreme heat
and floods) tends to be populated by the poorest people on earth. For SPARC,
"energy justice" implies ensuring that the underprivileged have equal access to
sustainable while also keeping such services cheap. Electricity prices, energy
subsidies, and government programmes must all be rethought to benefit the poor
if this goal is to be realised.
According to the International Energy Agency, India now consumes 4.8 million
barrels of oil daily, which is expected to rise to 8.7 million per day by 2040.
Eighty-five per cent of the country's oil needs are met by imports.
India's natural partner is Russia, the world's third-largest oil producer and
exporter. Investments in each other's energy sectors would insulate India
against energy price surges while allowing Russia to maintain long-term access
to purchasers for its energy products. The recent COP26 summit in Glasgow has
reiterated the notion that poor nations would continue to rely on fossil fuels
for a certain time. This is made more difficult by a shrinking funding pool for
fossil fuel programmes.
The United States and Canada are two of twenty nations pledging their support
for sustainable energy initiatives instead of fossil fuel ones. In the short
term, this might lead to market turbulence and distortions. The Modi
government's focus on ensuring energy justice and seeking a green path to growth
has been the driving force behind energy policies. Because of its extensive
value chain, the oil and gas (O&G) business provides economic stimulus at every
stage of production, consumption, distribution, and trade.
Over the last five years, the O&G industry has contributed more than 3% of the
economy's gross value addition in real terms. With a CAGR of 5.1 per cent in
FY20, the Indian Oil and natural gas industry has helped the real GDP increase
by 6.8 per cent during the previous six years to a total of 262 million metric
The finance minister said that the oil and gas sector had been an important part
of the nation's defence throughout this era of lockdown. FM has made several
important efforts to further its energy justice agenda and de-carbonise the
economy: Energy poverty has been eliminated thanks to the PMUY programme and
socio-economic transformation. The objective of supplying 8 million free LPG
Assistance and protection under PMUY has been increased to serve an extra one
million families in the FY22 budget.
- Vincent Möller, Monali Waghmare, Maria Lobo, Sheela Patel, Society for
the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), Energy justice for the urban
- Shri Dharmendra Pradhan says balancing accessibility and affordability,
India is creating a global model of energy justice, Press information
- Budgeting for energy justice: Budget FY22 has extended the target to
cover one crore additional households, Financial Express, 2021.
- Kirsten Jenkins, Darren McCauley, Raphael Heffron, Hannes Stephan,
Robert Rehner, Energy Research & Social Science, Elsevier, January 2016.
- Anders Melin, Rosie Day & Kirsten E. H. Jenkins (2021) Energy Justice
and the Capability Approach—Introduction to the Special Issue, Journal of
Human Development and Capabilities, 22:2, 185-196.
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