Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources

Edited by Andreas Goldthau, Michael F. Keating and Caroline Kuzemko

This Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the latest research from leading scholars on the international political economy of energy and resources. Highlighting the important conceptual and empirical themes, the chapters study all levels of governance, from global to local, and explore the wide range of issues emerging in a changing political and economic environment.
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Chapter 16: How can climate justice and energy justice be reconciled?

Andrew Lawrence

Abstract

The chapter advances the argument that policies promoting renewable energy versus carbon-based technologies can simultaneously realise maximal gains from three types of opportunity cost calculations. To the extent that they reduce GHG emissions per capita while increasing energy access, they maximize climate justice. To the extent that they increase energy access for underserved individuals and communities while reducing GHG emissions per capita, they maximize energy justice. And to the extent that either or both types of improvement entail greater scope for meaningful popular participation in the governance of new energy systems in terms of policy design, implementation, and employment, they maximise development goals and human rights, and in particular, the human right to participation. The chapter uses insights from grid decentralisation and political decentralisation in order to illustrate these three claims.

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