Setting energy justice apart from the crowd


Setting energy justice apart from the crowd: Lessons from environmental and climate justice

A new paper ‘Setting energy justice apart from the crowd: Lessons from environmental and climate justice’ argues for the application of an ‘energy justice’ approach to policy making, suggesting that it could be more effective than environmental justice or climate justice as a framework for making more equitable policy decisions.

The paper is authored by Dr Kirsten Jenkins, Research Fellow at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED)


  • We need to distinguish environmental, climate and energy justice contributions
  • The environmental justice agenda has had limited pervasive impact beyond the grassroots level
  • Climate justice is too late and too complicated to tackle
  • The energy justice concept provides a more focused means to tackle injustices with environmental and climate knock-ons


The continuation and exacerbation of many environmental failures illustrate that environmental and climate justice’s influence on decision-making is not being systematically effective, giving rise to a renewed emphasis on finding new, more focused, justice models. This includes the energy justice concept, which has received ready and growing success. Yet for energy justice, a key question keeps arising: what does it add that environmental and climate justice cannot? To answer this question this perspective outlines the origins, successes and failures of the environmental and climate justice concepts, with a view to both distinguishing the energy justice field, and providing cautionary tales for it. It then outlines three points of departure, which it argues increases the opportunity of success for the energy justice concept: (1) “bounding out”, (2) non-anti-establishment pasts and (3) methodological strength. This paper exists to stimulate debate.

A full version of the paper is available to download on the ScienceDirect website.
Find out more about CIED’s work on Energy Justice.
A brief overview of the End Use Energy Demand Centres (EUED) Centres.