Abstract: The urgency, emergency, and necessity of low-carbon transitions is a given in most regions of the world. But low-carbon innovations, technologies, practices and policies can unintentionally exacerbate a series of inequities and inequalities with energy production and use. This presentation introduces conceptions of Just Transitions and energy justice as a way to remediate these concerns. It utilizes a novel framework looking at demographic inequities (between groups), spatial inequities (across geographic scales), interspecies inequities (between humans and non-humans), and temporal inequities (across present and future generations). This framework enables not only the identification of multiple and often interlinked inequities; it also points the way towards how to make low-carbon transitions more sustainable and just, with direct implications for business practices (and supply chains) as well as energy and climate policy.
Biography: Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University in the United States, where he is the Founding Director of the Institute for Global Sustainability, as well as Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School in the United Kingdom. Professor Sovacool works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to energy policy, energy justice, energy security, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation. More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, the ethics and morality of energy decisions, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change. His research has been endorsed by U.S. President Bill Clinton, the Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland, and the late Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, among others. He was a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), published in 2022, and he serves on the Board on Environmental Change and Society for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the United States. With much coverage of his work in the international news media, he is one of the most highly cited global researchers on issues bearing on controversies in energy and climate policy.
This webinar is a certified green event by the University of Illinois' Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.