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Procedural (in)justice in the implementation of solar energy: The case of Charanaka solar park, Gujarat, India

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Abstract

Solar PV is being rolled out on a large scale in India and other emerging economies, but in the enthusiasm for solar's promise of plentiful, low carbon energy, the social and environmental justice concerns accompanying such infrastructure development are in danger of being overlooked. In this context, this paper, using the case study of 'Charanaka Solar Park' in Gujarat state, qualitatively analyses the degree of provision for procedural justice in solar energy implementation in India using a framework drawn from social environmental and energy justice literatures. The case study illustrates how the failure of various aspects of procedural justice can result in unnecessarily large impacts on the livelihoods of rural communities and the further marginalisation of those of lowest status. We conclude with discussion of the aspects of procedural justice that need attention in low carbon energy developments in developing countries alongside some policy and governance suggestions for the achievement of this in India and elsewhere.

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... Sustainable hydrogen-based steel production with on-site electrolyzers requires large amounts of green electricity [133]. In regions without large scale geothermal or hydropower, there is increased need for solar panels and wind turbines, potentially causing injustices in community participation and distribution with regards to siting [83,85]. Development of wind and solar energy infrastructure can lead to the capture of resources or authority from the local public, marginalization of stakeholders, damaging the environment, and worsening existing inequalities (E9) [123]. ...
... Environmental impacts and associated risks are relevant for existing industry that is currently polluting; however, these aspects are not highlighted or addressed everywhere currently [87][88][89]. Vulnerabilities related to the fair participation of communities and workers are more pronounced in developing regions or autocratic regimes than in regions where citizens already have a greater voice [85,139,140]. ...
... Negative impacts are often located in areas with low socio-economic status [166,167] and have resulted in protest movements due to a lack of procedural justice [149]. Within the energy transition, fairness of the process is most often discussed in developing new infrastructure, for example, the siting of wind turbines or gas pipelines [83][84][85]. In recent papers, the concept of procedural justice has grown beyond conflict avoidance and towards community engagement [45]. ...
Article
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A rapid transition towards a CO2-neutral steel industry is required to limit climate change. Such a transition raises questions of justice, as it entails positive and negative impacts unevenly distributed across societal stakeholders. To enable stakeholders to address such concerns, this paper assesses the justice implications of three options that reduce emissions: CO2 capture and storage (CCS) on steel (up to 70%), bio-based steelmaking (up to 50%), and green hydrogen-based steel production (up to 100%). We select justice indicators from the energy, climate, labour and environmental justice literature and assess these indicators qualitatively for each of the technological routes based on literature and desk research. We find context-dependent differences in justness between the different technological routes. The impact on stakeholders varies across regions. There are justice concerns for local communities because of economic dependence on, and environmental impact of the industry. Communities elsewhere are impacted through the siting of infrastructure and feedstock production. CCS and bio-based steelmaking routes can help retain industry and associated economic benefits on location, while hydrogen-based steelmaking may deal better with environmental concerns. We conclude that, besides techno-economic and environmental information, transparency on sector-specific justice implications of transforming steel industries is essential for decision-making on technological routes.
... The paradigm of technological fixes and market solutionism within which the existing knowledge politics is situated often undermine issues of public participation and justice [20,30]. In this paradigm, scientific knowledge is presented as an apolitical and neutral form of authority, whereas peoples' knowledge is devalued as mere perception and unfounded beliefs [31]. ...
... This interest arose from the observation that if ethics and justice questions are ignored, transitions might reinforce injustices. Similarly, the lack of support from local communities might halt the progress of RET projects [23,30]. A need is also felt to gather more insights from non-western contexts where sustainability goals are often side-lined or bypassed to achieve developmental objectives [21,42]. ...
... Recognition-based justice acknowledges the relevance of people's identities and ensures recognition and representation in the decision-making process [18,48,[51][52]. Majority of the empirical research available in energy justice domain primarily focus on distributional and procedural aspects of energy justice [15,30,47,53]. These categories of justice are intricately interlinked; earlier, the question of recognition was broadly understood within the distributive and procedural framework [28]. ...
Article
Public participation plays a crucial role in achieving Renewable Energy Transitions (RET). Existing research on energy transitions suggests that for seeking the active participation of all stakeholders, transition frameworks must be sensitive to the dynamic and complex interplay of power and agency. Knowledge politics that determine terms of engagement within energy transition projects often enable asymmetric agency resulting in vulnerability, exclusion and injustices. However, very little is known about how vulnerable and marginal groups resist subversion and re-define terms of engagement. This paper presents three cases of RET projects from India to engage with the interplay of knowledge politics, vulnerability and recognition-based energy justice. The cases bring comparable insights from RET projects on three different energy sources (second-generation bioethanol, advanced biogas and solar micro-grid), initiated by the government, industry and non-governmental actors in India. Based on the qualitative, empirical data gathered through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and ethnographic field observations, we argue that non-participation is a mode of resistance against subversive knowledge politics. Despite projected benefits and “apparent needs”, people do not accept the pre-defined roles and identities prescribed for them in RET projects. In contrast, vulnerable and marginal social groups mobilize their agency by framing needs and priorities in relation to situated as well as emergent social, political and ecological identities and demand for recognition-based energy justice.
... Procedural justice concerns fairness in how transitions are implemented (Yenneti and Day, 2015). It helps evaluate whether decision-making is democratic. ...
... We first describe the relevant stakeholders and analyze their agency in solar PV rollout. A key tenet of procedural justice is to identify participating and missing actors, and to characterize the allocation of benefits and burdens across them (Yenneti and Day, 2015;Sovacool et al., 2019b). ...
Article
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... Development towards JET has only just started to emerge in policy interventions and talks in the global South, and much of the conceptual development and groundwork in the LG of ET had already begun in Europe and other Western countries. There are casespecific insights of structural reform of LG bodies for an inclusive and just transition [5,26], and those of protesting procedural injustice due to technocratic, top-down solar energy interventions from the global South [27,28]. Multiple dimensions of ET have been discussed by scholars, including community, politics, space, time, social, spatial, technical, and [15,20,29]. ...
... Thus, there is always a significant risk involved in top-down interventions of renewable energy. Hence, from the justice standpoint, technical-laden top-bottom interventions have the power to marginalise local communities because intervening coalitions accumulate land and profit [28]. Hence, technology actors forming business-government coalitions must look for a technology intervention that achieves community cooperation. ...
Article
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Knowledge of energy transition (ET) is evolving in developing countries. Yet, it is unclear how the transition should be managed in a way that ensures justice for local stakeholders. We synthesise the extant theoretical ideas and practices of the local governance (LG) related to ET, which are vital in ensuring justice in energy policy at the local level. The paper advances this development by a systematic integrative literature review (N = 569) from the Web of Science (WoS) and highly cited grey literature linked to participation, LG, and ET. The bibliometric analysis indicates that, while the literature on energy justice is growing, limited attention has been paid to LG in just energy transition (N = 36). The analysis further indicates that more than half of the scientific literature is produced by five countries from the global North alone. In-depth scrutiny of highly cited studies and grey literature in LG and ET underlines the lack of a generalised framework of local ET governance, especially in the global South. We address this gap and propose a framework that exhibits a community-centric LG, which is essential for just energy transition.
... There are a number of other important issues around the question of just transitions, like land (McEwan, 2017;Yenneti and Day, 2015), electronic and other waste (Cross and Murray, 2018;Dustin Mulvaney et al., 2009;Kumar and Turner, 2020), labour (Mulvaney, 2013(Mulvaney, , 2014 and environmental impacts (Lakhanpal, 2019;Mulvaney, 2013) that sit at the fulcrum of the urgency and justice debate that we have picked up. It is not possible to go into all of them in this introduction, but by flagging them here we hope that others will pick them up for detailed discussions elsewhere. ...
... 3 Some dominant proposed solutions for the climate crisis are large alternative energy farms and electric vehicles developed by private capital. These have already exacerbated processes of mineral extraction and land grabbing, evicting and polluting local pastoral and aboriginal communities (Mulvaney, 2013(Mulvaney, , 2014Yenneti and Day, 2015). 4 The electricity rentals for these systems are often many times higher than state provisions of energy. ...
Chapter
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This introductory chapter sets out the overall logic and argument for this book, based on a critical investigation of the concept of the Anthropocene from a postcolonial vantage point. It posits that the argument for urgency and the calls to unify under the scientific narrative of the Anthropocene risks jeopardising political pathways of justice. The chapter reframes the Anthropocene narrative to argue for decolonising our knowledge and resolving the dilemma of urgency vs justice. It searches for a more political Anthropocene; one that tackles the urgency of collective action, while keeping a politics of justice at its centre. Reviewing literature on energy transitions in the global South, the chapter outlines four (inter alia) areas of concern for justice in a time of urgency: carbon colonialism, democracy and distributional justice, reframing of public good as private commodity and its marketisation, and gender and racial justice. To address these concerns we need to progress anti- and de-colonial thought within current discourses of urgent energy transitions. By bringing diverse perspectives in the chapters together this book identifies pathways developed in the global South that can bring urgency and justice together.
... In 2009, Gujarat became the first state in India to adopt a separate policy for solar energy. From a theoretical perspective, this policy is relevant as it engendered mixed outcomes along process, program, and politics as well as over time (Sareen and Kale 2018;Thakkar 2013b;Yenneti and Day 2015), thereby permitting within-case analysis of policy success. From a policy perspective, solar energy will be key in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the sustainable energy transition (Breyer et al. 2018;Creutzig et al. 2017). ...
... However, subsequent solar capacity addition petered out and during 2013-18, the state commissioned less than 800 MW of solar power (by way of comparison, solar power in the rest of India increased from less than 400 MW to over 22,000 MW). Further, a scan of the literature on the policy presents a mixed picture of rich political dividend despite policy impact on affordability, distributional equity, procedural justice, and spatial justice (Sareen and Kale 2018;Yenneti and Day 2015;Yenneti, Day, and Golubchikov 2016). This within-case variation makes the Gujarat solar energy policy an appropriate choice for examining what is policy success and whether and how it is related to the policy process. ...
Article
Although many scholars have studied policy success and failure, the relationship of these phenomena to the policy process—essential for an explanatory or anticipatory analysis—remains unclear. I address this gap by linking the policy success heuristic with the multiple streams framework (MSF) and developing hypotheses to explain outcomes. I apply this conceptualization to the case of the solar energy policy in Gujarat, India by combining a qualitative policy assessment with a process trace of policy making. The findings show that the conflicted process success and the programmatic failure resulted largely from a top-down push for a policy without a problem. This push, nevertheless, led to political success that was sustained by recoupling problems and politics through agenda denial, blame avoidance, and credit claiming. I conclude with implications for the research on policy evaluation, the MSF, and policy studies, as well as the governance of a sustainable energy transition.
... Walker and Day [54] indicate that such issues can manifest themselves through the choice of location for centralised energy facilities, or policy approaches-overt or unwritten-towards specific sectors of society such as the aged, the disabled, or indigenous communities. Yenneti and Day [55] note large impacts on the livelihoods of rural communities and the further marginalisation of those of lowest status in India. Baker [56] examines the prospects for wind development in Oaxaca, Mexico, presenting a framework for greater participation in renewable energy development by affected communities. ...
... Yenneti and Day [55] conclude that the principles of energy justice-providing detailed information, valuing local knowledge, listening to communities through responding to concerns raised-can assist not only the delivery of energy justice but also the acceptance of change by the local community. McCauley et al. [66] point in favourable terms to the consultation efforts of a wind farm developer in Finland. ...
Article
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The compelling need to tackle climate change is well-established. It is a challenge which is being faced by all nations. This requires an approach which is truly inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing on the expertise of politicians, social scientists, and technologists. We report how the pace of the energy transition can be influenced significantly by both the operation of societal barriers, and by policy actions aimed at reducing these effects. Using the case study of South Africa, a suite of interviews has been conducted with diverse energy interests, to develop and analyse four key issues pertinent to the energy transition there. We do so primarily through the lens of delivering energy justice to that society. In doing so, we emphasise the need to monitor, model, and modify the dynamic characteristic of the energy transition process and the delivery of energy justice; a static approach which ignores the fluid nature of transition will be insufficient. We conclude that the South African fossil fuel industry is still impeding the development of the country’s renewable resources, and the price of doing so is being met by those living in townships and in rural areas.
... The unfolding climate crisis has exacerbated the need to shift from fossil fuel based to low-carbon energy systems. This shift has profound justice implications that cut across spatial, economic, governance, and distributive dimensions (Murphy & Smith, 2013;Mulvaney, 2013Mulvaney, , 2014Yenneti & Day, 2015, 2016VonLucke, 2021). Many studies have looked at the way fossil fuels promote violence, authoritarianism and the resource curse, reconfiguring space and social identity in problematic ways (Parenti, 2011;Huber & McCarthy, 2017;Brock & Dunlap, 2018;Daggett, 2018;Jerez et al., 2021;Verweijen & Dunlap, 2021). ...
Article
The shift from carbon-intensive to low-carbon energy systems has profound justice implications as some regions are likely to lose as much as gain from decarbonization processes. Increasing calls have been made to adopt a 'whole systems' perspective on energy justice. Drawing on the Multi-level Perspective on socio-technical transitions this paper presents a new comprehensive framework of energy justice in system innovation, proposing to map injustices along three dimensions: 1) multiple spatial scales (regional, national, international); 2) different time horizons (currently experienced vs. anticipated injustices); 3) connections to transition dynamics (injustices related to the optimization of the currently dominant system, destabilization of the incumbent system or the acceleration of alternative solutions in niches). The framework is applied to analyse the ongoing energy transition in Estonia, involving interactions between the incumbent oil shale based regime and wind, solar, nuclear and bioenergy as emerging niche challengers. The content analysis of news items in Estonian media reveals an inventory of 214 distinct incidents of energy injustices across 21 different categories. We find that many experienced and anticipated injustices are deployed, often strategically, by certain actors to advocate specific energy futures and to influence current political choices. From the justice perspective our analysis thus raises a question whether it is ethical to use probable yet currently unrealized injustices related to regime destabilization and niche acceleration as a means to perpetuate injustices related to the optimization of the currently dominant regime.
... Discrimination against ethnic minorities in Democratic Republic of the Congo Stock and Birkenholtz [158], Yenneti and Day [169], Yenneti and Day [170], Yenneti et al. [171] Solar energy (solar parks) Indigenous minorities or those of a lower caste in Gujarat India Sunter et al. [172] Solar energy (rooftop PV) African Americans neighborhoods in the United States Sunter et al. [172] Solar energy (rooftop PV) Hispanic neighborhoods in the United States Temper [173] Tree plantations (pine and eucalyptus), biofuel (sugarcane plantations) ...
Article
This study critically examines 20 years of geography and political ecology literature on the energy justice implications of climate change mitigation. Grounded in an expert guided literature review of 198 studies and their corresponding 332 case studies, it assesses the linkages between low carbon transitions—including renewable electricity, biofuel, nuclear power, smart grids, electric vehicles, and land use management—with degradation, dispossession and destruction. It draws on a framework that envisions the political ecology of low-carbon transitions as consisting of four distinct processes: enclosure (capture of land or resources), exclusion (unfair planning), encroachment (destruction of the environment), or entrenchment (worsening of inequality or vulnerability). The study vigorously interrogates how these elements play out by country and across countries, by type of mitigation option, by type of victim or affected group, by process, and by severity, e.g. from modern slavery to organized crime, from violence, murder and torture to the exacerbation of child prostitution or the destruction of pristine ecosystems. It also closely examines the locations, disciplinary affiliations, methods and spatial units of analysis employed by this corpus of research, with clear and compelling insights for future work in the space of geography, climate change, and energy transitions. It suggest five critical avenues for future research: greater inclusivity and diversity, rigor and comparative analysis, focus on mundane technologies and non-Western case studies, multi-scalar analysis, and focus on policy and recommendations. At times, low-carbon transitions and climate action can promote squalor over sustainability and leave angry communities, disgruntled workers, scorned business partners, and degraded landscapes in their wake. Nevertheless, ample opportunities exist to make a future low-carbon world more pluralistic, democratic, and just.
... We have shifted to measuring growth, not in terms of how life is enriched, but in terms of how life is destroyed". The value of renewable energy to planetary health is undeniable; however, it is also undeniable that many renewable energy projects have been damaging to biodiversity, have displaced Indigenous communities, have been exploitive of the Global South and, ultimately, since they are driven by an extraction mentality, maintain status-quo power structures and grotesque inequity [101][102][103]. Moreover, the westernized pattern of unsustainable consumerism and materialism (prioritizing acquisition and consumption of material goods; consumption in search of happiness [104]) is a primary contributor to planetary ill-health. ...
Article
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The term “Anthropocene Syndrome” describes the wicked interrelated challenges of our time. These include, but are not limited to, unacceptable poverty (of both income and opportunity), grotesque biodiversity losses, climate change, environmental degradation, resource depletion, the global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), health inequalities, social injustices, the spread of ultra-processed foods, consumerism and incivility in tandem with a diminished emphasis on the greater potential of humankind, efforts toward unity, or the value of fulfilment and flourishing of all humankind. Planetary health is a concept that recognizes the interdependent vitality of all natural and anthropogenic ecosystems—social, political and otherwise; it blurs the artificial lines between health at scales of person, place and planet. Promoting planetary health requires addressing the underlying pathology of “Anthropocene Syndrome” and the deeper value systems and power dynamics that promote its various signs and symptoms. Here, we focus on misinformation as a toxin that maintains the syndromic status quo—rapid dissemination of falsehoods and dark conspiracies on social media, fake news, alternative facts and medical misinformation described by the World Health Organization as an “infodemic”. In the context of planetary health, we explore the historical antecedents of this “infodemic” and underscore an urgent need to remediate the misinformation mess. It is our contention that education (especially in early life) emphasizing mindfulness and understanding of the mechanisms by which propaganda is spread (and unhealthy products are marketed) is essential. We expand the discourse on positive social contagion and argue that empowerment through education can help lead to an information transformation with the aim of flourishing along every link in the person, place and planet continuum.
... Sareen and Kale (2018) highlight the political, economic, and institutional factors influencing the growth of solar power, its affordability, and community participation in determining the energy trajectories in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Yenneti and Day (2015) discuss the importance of procedural justice in the implementation of energy projects "not only for protecting the interests of the community and promoting distributive justice, but also for community acceptance and for mitigating any socio-environmental impacts of the project" (p. 672). ...
Article
Recurrent summer floods along the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries are a major challenge for the people and state governments of Northeast India. While riverine communities in the region rely upon a variety of adaptation strategies to live with these destructive floods, climate change is expected to further exacerbate this challenge, as melting Himalayan glaciers and changes in the South Asian monsoon lead to an increase in the frequency of severe floods. At the same time, a multitude of new dams are under construction in the Brahmaputra river basin, to meet India's growing energy demands. Though these dams could provide flood protection for downstream communities, political and economic factors have led dam-builders to prioritize hydroelectricity generation over flood control. Furthermore, hydroelectricity generated along the Brahmaputra is "evacuated" to distant urban centers, while rural dwellers in Northeast India suffer from high levels of energy poverty. Using the Ranganadi Hydroelectric Project in Arunachal Pradesh as a case study, this paper examines how, by changing the flood regime and undermining current adaptive strategies, large dams along the Brahmaputra are testing the capacity of downstream communities to live with summer floods. This work highlights the ways in which poor and vulnerable communities in Northeast India are forced to bear the costs of both climate change impacts and decarbonization efforts.
... Within this context, the procedural EJ literature identifies relevant principles for a democratic NbS planning, such as information exchange (providing relevant information related to the project to all interested individuals), inclusion and enfranchisement (giving voice to all involved parties), representation (allowing a leading role for all communities), and conflict solving (setting conflicts in less costly ways) (Lopes and Videira, 2013;Yenneti and Day, 2015). In this sense, one of the main goals of procedural EJ is making relevant information about the co-creation process comprehensive and available for all contributors, including potential benefited or affected communities. ...
Article
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Environmental justice (EJ) addresses the unequal distribution of environmental goods and harms and promotes people's right to be involved in environmental decision-making. In recent years, EJ considerations have expanded to the use of Nature-based solutions (NbS) in urban areas, mainly how their planning and implementation can impact human well-being and social justice. However, what constitutes a just solution and how the concept is treated in the literature can take many forms. This study reviews how EJ is conceptualised and analysed in urban NbS research and documents the potential outcomes of diverse interventions. We developed a conceptual framework for the review process, focusing on the EJ definitions transferable to NbS research. We then conducted a systematic review of 152 articles published between 2000 and 2021. Selected articles addressed urban NbS from the recognitional, procedural and distributional interpretations of justice. Publication trends, methods, and demographic variables were recorded for each article. Furthermore, we focused on the means for assessing EJ in empirical terms, such as the framing of justice-related challenges, assessment indicators , and the reported justice outcomes. Findings demonstrate the dominance of research themes, the skewness towards the distributive dimension of justice, and a large variety of metrics and indicators used to assess EJ implications. Our results also show that EJ outcomes have mostly been reported to be mixed or negative. The results are used to identify research gaps and issues that need to be addressed to enhance EJ effects in urban NbS.
... The ones mentioned most frequently are: Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, and Kerala (Table 3). Numerous state-level studies focus on various aspects of renewable energy, such as solar energy resource potential [139,140], public acceptance of small hydroelectric power [141], diffusion of renewable energy [142][143][144], policy implementation [145], or the management of biomass energy [146]. Research has also delved into the energy-food or the energy-water nexus, for example, in the case of Gujarat [147], Karnataka [148], Tamil Nadu [149], or West Bengal [150]. ...
Article
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Although India has made significant progress towards the sustainable development goal on energy (SDG 7), further policy innovations are essential for closing the gap, addressing geographic disparities, and harnessing energy for transformative change. Research can support this process by creating policy-relevant knowledge regarding the energy transition, but there is no systematic account of the literature pertaining to energy policy in India to map the research area and suggest key avenues for future research. In this study, I conduct a bibliometric review and computational text analysis of over 2700 publications to identify the key themes, geographies, and public policy concepts (not) examined in the research on energy policy in India. I find that: (i) the literature is dominated by topics in energy supply and less attention is paid to demand-side management, energy efficiency, and electricity distribution; (ii) existing studies have hardly examined subnational policy (-making), especially in the case of eastern and north-eastern India; and (iii) research on both analysis for policy and analysis of policy is limited. I conclude that the current foci lack the breadth and depth necessary for supporting the Indian energy transition and urge scholars to diversify the thematic, geographic, and conceptual engagement in future research.
... In Asia, the dominant problem is air pollution which is a consequence of power and heat generation and industrial processes [124,125]. India's main interest lies in solar energy infrastructure and innovative renewables [126], but it also involves conflicts within local development projects and the marginalization of lower status groups [126][127][128]. Similarly, the problems of EJ in Korea and Japan are tackled through the cases of social and environmental inequality [129,130], and social peripheralization within nuclear policy [131]. ...
Article
The concept of energy justice (EJ) has gained importance in discussions about energy transitions, mainly due to a growing number of researchers working on the social implications of greenhouse gas emission reductions. At the moment, EJ is defined as a framework for discussing fairness in energy systems and operates as an umbrella term to signify various concerns related to energy development across diverse groups to enable communication. Thus, we call EJ a boundary object (BO) and discuss its further evolution into a standard, or its dissolution into several locally specific concepts. This study provides a systematic review of the literature that applies the concept of EJ: how its features developed and how it gained popularity in academic publications to mid-2019. We present a bibliometric overview of the number of occurrences of the concept across the literature using the Scopus and WOS databases (N = 182) and, using VOSviewer software, we describe similarities between research topics to which the concept was related. By mapping out its diverse thematic and geographic applications, we review the critical trends and claim that EJ can address real-life challenges. We submit that it will have more practical power once it starts being used more broadly to build cooperation among scholars, policymakers, activists, and grassroots movements.
... Certainly, large-scale hydro has attracted concerns about permanent, large-scale effects, such as the displacement of peoples from impounded water bodies [7]. However, until recently there has been little attention to end-of-life issues with key renewable energy technologies, like onshore wind or solar power [8][9][10]. ...
Article
The extent to which the impacts of renewable energy development might be reversible is an important dimension of debates about environmental acceptability, magnified in significance by the sector's rapid expansion and the inexorable ageing of facilities. However, despite frequent claims that the impacts of renewable energy are reversible, the complex realities of impact (ir)reversibility have attracted minimal systematic research. This paper addresses this gap with the first review of the research literature on impact (ir)reversibility, focused on onshore wind, and makes a number of contributions. Firstly, it shows that determining whether impacts are reversible or not inevitably entails selective, value-laden judgements about what matters and why. Secondly, a problem with much of the existing literature on (ir)reversibility issues is its abstract and hypothetical nature, detached from actual end-of-life decisions about renewable energy facilities, and their relationship with sites and landscapes. These insights are used to generate a conceptual framework for investigating impact (ir)reversibility-emphasising the benchmark, value basis, object of focus, allocation of responsibility, and regulatory mechanisms and the ways that long-term, end-of-life impacts are governed. The value of this framework is demonstrated through three empirical vignettes from the UK, and used to generate an agenda for future research.
... Inequities are particularly pronounced in terms of uneven distribution of burdens as opposed to benefits of the policies and infrastructure projects among low income, disenfranchised groups with lower bargaining power and representation. In order to make SDG7 live up to the SDGs' charge of "leaving no one behind," energy policies and projects in India would do well if the government adopts an equity and justice lens to engage communities during conception, design, and implementation phases (Villavicencio Calzadilla & Mauger, 2017;Yenneti & Day, 2015). ...
... China has become the global leader in renewable energy deployment, largely driven by effective and timely policy interventions [5][6][7][8][9]. A significant rise in renewable energy has also been recorded in other places in Asia such as India, Bangladesh, Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia [10][11][12][13][14]. Energy efficiency, while receiving much less attention, has also been improving across Asia [15][16][17][18]. ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic is having a massive impact on and may fundamentally change the pathways and trajectories of sustainable energy development. This article examines the impact of COVID-19 on Asia’s sustainable energy development and proposes agendas for future energy research in response to the pandemic. The review and research agendas are oriented towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The following three key questions need to be addressed by researchers: (1) In what ways does COVID-19 make sustainable energy development more important than ever? (2) What are the short- and long-term effects of COVID-19 on sustainable energy development? (3) How can responses to COVID-19 meet the objectives of sustainable energy development?
... Based on the growing body of research regarding public attitudes to the siting of renewable energies [18][19][20], this paper aims to obtain a better understanding of public acceptance toward waste incinerators in China. More specifically, we seek to identify individual and social factors which are relevant to public acceptance. ...
Article
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Due to concerns about consequences to public health, the ecosystem, the natural landscape etc., the planning and construction of waste incineration plants always gives rise to a reaction and even protests from local communities. This study aims to investigate the determinants affecting public acceptance of waste incinerators. We contribute to the existing knowledge in the following ways: (1) this study undertook a qualitative analysis on community acceptance of nimby facilities in the context of China for the first time; (2) through qualitative interview analysis, we emphasize the impact of interactions among multiple factors regarding the acceptance of waste incinerators; (3) we finally construct a framework to systematically explain the formation mechanism of community acceptance of waste incineration plants. Employing in-depth interviews with 22 representative residents, the results indicate that from the perspective of externality, risk perception has a significant negative impact, whereas the effects of benefit perception are positive. In terms of interaction between government and citizen, both justice perception and political efficacy are positive. Social situational factors positively promote community acceptance. Lastly, the impact of individual cognition is mixed. This study has the potential to make a significant difference in better community governance and environment-friendly cities.
... In that regard, Jenkins et al., (2016) point to the value of mobilising local knowledge as a procedure to ensure the acceptability and success of energy policy and projects. And thirdly, access to legal processes seeking redress of any perceived injustice is a critical instrument in achieving procedural justice (also McCauley et al., 2013;Yenneti and Day, 2015). Examples of procedural injustice in the energy sector include involuntary displacement of communities for large energy infrastructure projects such as dams, mines, and power stations. ...
Conference Paper
Access to energy is widely acknowledged to be a fundamental determinant of human wellbeing and a key element of poverty alleviation. The UN Sustainable Development Goal SDG7, target 1 demands that by 2030, we are to ‘ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services.’ This is an exceptionally ambitious aspiration, given that around one billion people live without electricity and about three billion, most of whom reside in the global South, depend on cooking with solid fuels. Research on the challenges of universal energy access for the urban poor has potential to contribute to substantial quality-of-life improvements for a vast population. This study contributes to a deeper understanding of the complex and inequitable socio-technical infrastructures underlying access to energy for households in particularly challenging environments, the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The nascent energy justice debate is far from comprehensive at this stage of its development, with a deficiency in studies in the global South and for household scale analyses. Scholarship to date is largely situated in the North and presents global or national scale principles. An understanding of the concepts around particularities of cities of the global South developed in the Southern urban critique provides an informative entry point for energy justice deliberations relating to informal settlements in poor cities. Through engaging with the capability approach, this thesis develops a detailed appreciation of the effects of energy injustices on households and individuals in a case study slum, Kalyanpur Pora Bostee in Dhaka. In these terms, this thesis opens a new dialogue between energy justice, the capability approach, and the Southern urban critique to develop a new framework for energy justice – a framework designed specifically for urban poverty conditions in the global South. The framework presents key principles for energy justice in this environment, and maps relationships and dependencies between those principles.
... We frame the allocation of benefits and disadvantages in society and across space under distributional justice (McCauley, 2018;Sovacool et al., 2019). Procedural justice concerns fairness in how transitions are implemented, thus serving to evaluate participation (Yenneti and Day, 2015). Justice as recognition acknowledges marginalised or vulnerable people who may experience worsened conditions as a result of the low-carbon transition . ...
Book
Full-text available
This book analyses the potential for active stakeholder engagement in the energy transition in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) in order to foster clean energy deployment. Public acceptability and bottom-up activities can be critical for enduring outcomes to an energy transition. As a result, it is vital to understand how to unlock the potential for public, community and prosumer participation to facilitate renewable energy deployment and a clean energy transition – and, consequently, to examine the factors influencing social acceptability. Focussing on the diverse BSR, this book draws on expert contributions to consider a range of different topics, including the challenges of social acceptance and its policy implications; strategies to address challenges of acceptability among stakeholders; and community engagement in clean energy production. Overall, the authors examine the practical implications of current policy measures and provide recommendations on how lessons learnt from this ‘energy lab region’ may be applied to other regions. Reflecting an interdisciplinary approach in the social sciences, this book is an essential resource for scholars, students and policymakers researching and working in the areas of renewable energy, energy policy and citizen engagement, and interested in understanding the potential for bottom-up, grassroots activities and social acceptability to expedite the energy transition and reanimate democracies.
... For example, the Indian case of the solar park imposed on Adivasi communities illustrates the power imbalance in decision making, which led to local oppositions and the consequent reduction of the size of the solar plant 50 . Similarly, the development process of the Charanaka Solar Park, one of Asia's largest solar parks, shows the systematic mechanisms by which rural and Indigenous peoples are excluded, ignored and marginalized from the process of planning and implementing solar infrastructures 51,52 . Human-rights violations have also been reported in the case of renewable-energy development in Indigenous territories in Panama 53 . ...
Article
Energy development in Indigenous lands has been historically controversial from socio–ecological and ethical perspectives. Energy-development projects often privilege the knowledge of a narrow group, while, simultaneously, Indigenous knowledge and alternative epistemologies have been understudied in academic energy-access discourses and largely ignored in the planning and implementation of energy interventions. Here university-affiliated academics teamed up with Indigenous scholars and leaders to examine Indigenous perspectives in energy research and practice. We identify three core issues embedded in existing energy-development initiatives: an inconsistent use of the term ‘Indigenous’; a lack of inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and alternative epistemologies in energy-development projects; and a prevalence of inadequate methodological attempts to include such Indigenous knowledge. To enable more symmetric and people-centric sustainable energy interventions, we propose and illustrate a ‘cosmologies of energy’ approach that focuses on learning from Indigenous oral narratives to unpack Indigenous people’s lived experiences, alternative perspectives and associated practices of energy. Energy-development projects typically adopt a Western perspective, which can create tensions and difficulties among Indigenous communities. In this Review the authors examine sustainable energy interventions in Indigenous territories and call for a more pluralistic approach that is focused on learning from Indigenous narratives.
... This in turn has reinforced the Maramba's powerful position in the Sumbanese society. Similar patterns have also been observed in other Global South contexts, where renewable energy developments have further marginalised certain community groups from accessing the project benefits and articulating their voices during the project planning and implementation [18,20,81,82]. ...
Article
Community-based renewable electricity projects have been increasingly regarded as a promising means to alleviate rural energy poverty through ensuring just and inclusive outcomes. However, limited studies have been carried out to investigate the socio-political dynamics of such initiatives and the extent to which they overcome energy injustices in the Global South. Drawing on two case studies from Sumba Island in Eastern Indonesia, this article seeks to critically understand how micro-politics of planning and implementing community-based renewable projects influence their energy justice implications on the ground. In this study, we deploy a contextualised analysis of energy justice to demonstrate how particular socio-historical dimensions shape contemporary energy injustices in a postcolonial setting such as Sumba Island. We argue that the persistence of apolitical framing of community-based energy access intervention runs the risk of perpetuating exclusions and inequalities in rural energy provision. To address energy injustices, it is important to shift away from the centralised mentality that still prevails in the development of community-based renewables in Indonesia and beyond.
... This is not to argue that energy geographies have not engaged with the question of justice rooted in difference. Geographers have indeed established a very fruitful body of work on energy justice (Feenstra & Özerol, 2021;Jenkins et al., 2016;Yenneti & Day, 2015). Yet, more work is needed to provide "a necessary vocabulary to analyze intersecting and historical forms of injustices as well as methods to evaluate the consequences of multiple forms of oppression in a relational manner" (Cannon & Chu, 2021, p. 8), especially under pressure from a universalising discourse of Anthropocene urgency. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Anthropocene has thrown at us a challenge of balancing urgency and justice. Urgency brought about by myriad environmental crises, most prominently being climate change, and justice that any adequate response to these crises needs to be rooted in. This is a dilemma because we need pathways for urgent action on climate mitigation and energy transitions while centring the slow and considered work that historical and contemporary justice questions demand. This is because while the Anthropocene calls humans to unite, its impacts have been, are, and will be, felt differently. The Anthropocene narrative's framing of a universal humanity connects to a long and dangerous history of what is human and what qualifies as humanity, a history of colonising, racializing, and dehumanising black, brown, and indigenous bodies around the world. We need narratives of the Anthropocene that confirm the importance of decolonising political, economic, and scientific institutions, not to deny urgency, but to foster a more political Anthropocene that creates space for new narratives of justice. The question then, that this paper initiates, is: How to progress anti–and de‐colonial thought for energy geographies within a somewhat colonising discourse of urgency in/of the Anthropocene? To think of energy geographies of/in the Anthropocene, one that explicitly embeds within itself justice, this paper outlines three areas of work. First, the paper proposes a need to engage with and learn from energy histories other than those from the Euro‐American contexts. Second, it urges more focus on the question of difference. Third, the paper proposes a deeper engagement with critical race theory and postcolonial/decolonial theories to investigate questions of justice. These proposals are provocations to open energy geographies to a wider range of questions, approaches, and concerns.
... Land use and community wellbeing emerge as a final concern connected to mass-installations of RE systems. Looking at the siting and land politics of solar PV power plants in India, injustices of process, planning, and misrecognition in how such facilities are sited regardless of community concerns are widespread [343]- [345]. Argenti and Knight [346] reveal how the development of wind farms enabled enclosure via the appropriation and grabbing of farming land, exclusion of local concerns from the planning process, encroachment of environmentally sensitive sites with endangered fauna and flora, and the entrenchment of inequality with no project benefits distributed to local communities. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research on 100% renewable energy systems is a relatively recent phenomenon. It was initiated in the mid-1970s, catalyzed by skyrocketing oil prices. Since the mid-2000s, it has quickly evolved into a prominent research field encompassing an expansive and growing number of research groups and organizations across the world. The main conclusion of most of these studies is that 100% renewables is feasible worldwide at low cost. Advanced concepts and methods now enable the field to chart realistic as well as cost- or resource-optimized and efficient transition pathways to a future without the use of fossil fuels. Such proposed pathways in turn, have helped spur 100% renewable energy policy targets and actions, leading to more research. In most transition pathways, solar energy and wind power increasingly emerge as the central pillars of a sustainable energy system combined with energy efficiency measures. Cost-optimization modeling and greater resource availability tend to lead to higher solar photovoltaic shares, while emphasis on energy supply diversification tends to point to higher wind power contributions. Recent research has focused on the challenges and opportunities regarding grid congestion, energy storage, sector coupling, electrification of transport and industry implying power-to-X and hydrogen-to-X, and the inclusion of natural and technical carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches. The result is a holistic vision of the transition towards a net-negative greenhouse gas emissions economy that can limit global warming to 1.5°C with a clearly defined carbon budget in a sustainable and cost-effective manner based on 100% renewable energy-industry-CDR systems. Initially, the field encountered very strong skepticism. Therefore, this paper also includes a response to major critiques against 100% renewable energy systems, and also discusses the institutional inertia that hampers adoption by the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as possible negative connections to community acceptance and energy justice. We conclude by discussing how this emergent research field can further progress to the benefit of society.
... The second element of our procedural justice framework raises the issue of public participation. We argue that the top-down approach of energy policy decision-making in Taiwan undermines public consultations with relevant stakeholders, and yet consultation with relevant stakeholders is a pillar of procedural justice [30,58]. We discover the core sources of the procedural energy injustices, such as the lack of transparency and public participation, might be inherent in the country's energy systems and governance style, regardless of which political party rules or which energy plan is introduced. ...
Article
Transitions to non-nuclear energy systems are assumed to be positive phenomena. However, there is existing literature on how such transitions can result in new injustices. Since 2016, the government of Taiwan has promoted renewable energy and pursued the objective of establishing a nuclear-free homeland by 2025. Despite public enthusiasm for this green shift, there is a danger that concerns over accompanying environmental and energy injustices are being ignored. This paper addresses the gap between enthusiasm for environmental reforms and blindness to possible social consequences by applying procedural justice to an examination of the shift in energy policy in Taiwan. In 2018 and 2019, 45 interviews were conducted with relevant governmental entities, academics, industry, advocacy organisations (including pro- and anti-nuclear groups), and senior journalists, with the aim of shedding light on how Taiwan’s energy transition and phasing out of nuclear energy by 2025 could both represent a commitment to environmental justice and yet result in the creation of new injustices. This research contributes to the wider debate on procedural injustices arising from transitions to non-nuclear energy sources. We emphasise the need to consider procedural justice in green transitions, and assert that doing so will help achieve the smoothest possible energy transition.
... We frame the allocation of benefits and disadvantages in society and across space under distributional justice (McCauley, 2018;Sovacool et al., 2019). Procedural justice concerns fairness in how transitions are implemented, thus serving to evaluate participation (Yenneti and Day, 2015). Justice as recognition acknowledges marginalised or vulnerable people who may experience worsened conditions as a result of the low-carbon transition . ...
... Recently, significant academic attention has been placed on energy justice, an ideal which seeks to enable energy systems which are fairer (Jenkins et al., 2016;McCauley et al., 2019), in terms of the distribution of costs and benefits (Chapman et al., 2016;Dwi Cahyani et al., 2020;Liljenfeldt and Pettersson, 2017), access to procedural and policy aspects (Yenneti and Day, 2015;Zoellner et al., 2008;Velasco-Herrejon and Bauwens, 2020), and in terms of recognition of who is impacted by energy policy implementation (Chapman et al., 2021;Moniruzzaman and Day, 2020). This study is grounded in the recognition aspects of energy justice, focusing on cultural background and other demographic impacts on energy system outcomes. ...
Article
This research investigates the differences in awareness and preference of racial groups toward the types of energy that they would like to see incorporated into the future energy system. Based on a national survey of 3000 respondents conducted in 2020, we analyze the differences in awareness, preferences and attitudes among racial groups in the US, and how they will influence future energy system design, cognizant of a rapidly changing demographic. Utilizing robust statistical analysis methods, we ascertain cultural and demographic based differences in energy technology awareness, opinions and deployment preferences, and, building on this evidence base, develop an energy system model which allocates these preferences toward future energy system design. The findings are contrasted with current national energy system goals, highlighting the need for both bottom-up policy input which is culturally and demographically aware, alongside top-down energy system goals and guidelines.
... In sustainable transitions, consideration of procedural justice is important to ensure its design such that the outcomes and benefits of its expansion are more equitable. Case studies for procedural (in)justice assessments of transitions such as the implementation of solar [46] and wind projects [47,48] highlight the importance of this aspect of justice. This is particularly relevant for the hydrogen economy which could represent the opportunity for a significant geo-political and economic reshuffling [26], for example stoking fears that some actors (such as the oil and gas sector and vehicle OEMs) may be trying to "stack the deck" in terms of ensuring the positive outcomes of the hydrogen remain centralized with them [49]. ...
Article
The climate crisis, the renewed importance of energy security and geopolitics, and economic interests are fuelling interest in the hydrogen economy. While still in its nascency, if financial and political commitments are an indication, the hydrogen economy is likely to rapidly develop. Many scholars have noted, however, the significant lack of social assessments of the hydrogen economy. This work addresses this gap through a normative energy justice assessment across the hydrogen economy value chain to provide an initial proactive mapping of potential energy injustices that could occur from its development across four injustice perspectives (distribution, procedural, cosmopolitan, and recognition). Further, this work suggests potential abatement actions that could be taken to reduce the identified injustices. Lacking research on the social impacts of the hydrogen economy due to its nascency, this work benchmarks to energy justice assessments as well as abating actions from other transitions to provide this first mapping. The results of this work show that potential injustices could arise from unjust decision-making, socially irresponsible development, and the poor sharing of ills/benefits on the consumption end. While the hydrogen economy's development pathway is still largely unknown, this work hopes to provide foresight to policymakers and future researchers (who can then study them in more detail) about potential injustices along the hydrogen value chain with the goal of avoiding or reducing them. Being aware of and reducing these injustices during the development of the hydrogen economy should serve to foster public support for its proliferation.
... Caldazilla and Mauger (2018) look at energy justice issues created by solar and wind power in Chile, India, Kenya, and Mexico, and how to combat them. They note that large-scale solar and wind energy projects do not always respect the interests of vulnerable communities or cultural and archaeological landscapes in their siting and design (Yenneti and Day, 2015). Instances where this is the case are replete in less developed countries. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate and discuss stakeholder issues faced by renewable energy megaprojects and in particular solar and wind power projects and their relevance to socioeconomic evaluation of megaprojects. Design/methodology/approach The paper uses secondary data collected from the recent literature published on stakeholder issues face by mega solar and wind power energy generation projects around the world. The issues are then analysed across specific challenges in five continents where these projects are being developed. The paper then focuses on the literature on energy justice to elaborate the type of issues being faced by renewable energy megaprojects contributing to the achievement of UN Sustainable Goal 7 and their impact on vulnerable communities where these projects are situated. Findings Renewable energy megaprojects are rarely discussed in the project management literature on megaprojects despite their size and importance in delivering sustainable development goals. While these projects provide social benefits they also create issues of justice due to their impact of vulnerable populations living is locations where these projects are situated. The justice issues faced include procedural justice, distributive justice, recognition inequalities. The type of justice issues was found to vary intensity in the developed, emerging and developing economies. It was found that nonprofit organisations are embarking on strategies to alleviate energy justice issues in innovative ways. It was also found that, in some instances, smaller local projects developed with community participation could actually contribute more equitable to the UN sustainable development goals avoiding the justice issues posed by mega renewable energy projects. Research limitations/implications The research uses secondary data due to which it is difficult to present a more comprehensive picture of stakeholder issues involving renewable energy megaprojects. The justice issues revealed through thesis paper with renewable energy megaprojects are also present in conventional megaprojects which have not been discussed in the project management literature. Post-COVID-19 these justice issues are likely to become mor prevalent due to the pandemic's impact on vulnerable population exacerbating the issues and increasing their severity on these populations. Therefore it is becoming even more critical to take these into account while developing renewable energy megaprojects. Practical implications Proper identification and response to energy justice issues can help in alleviating stakeholder issues in renewable energy megaprojects. Social implications Contributes to the equitable achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7. Originality/value This paper addresses a gap in the project management literature on the exploration of stakeholder issues on renewable energy megaprojects. It also brings out the importance of justice issues which can assist in expanding stakeholders issues faced by megaprojects as these issues have not received sufficient attention in the past in the project management literature.
... Effective information disclosure is vital for the social acceptance of energy policies, the success of which requires two-way deliberative communication between decision-makers and engaged stakeholders [54]. The information disclosure in the CTG project, however, exhibited an evident feature of the one-way dissemination-reception process, with little sense of meaningful communication and deliberation. ...
Article
As a burgeoning theoretical framework, energy justice has been mostly focused on the energy transition in Western countries, where socio-political settings are largely featured by liberalism and democracy, leaving an obvious gap in its application in other socio-political contexts. As a major energy consumer and a leader of the global low-carbon transition, China is characterized by a distinctive socio-political regime. An array of grand strategies to transform its coal-dominant energy structure have been initiated to ameliorate deteriorating environmental crises in particular and materialize a low-carbon transition in general. Based on extensive evidence, this article incorporates the energy justice framework into the analysis of an ongoing energy transition project in rural Northern China. It contributes to the related research in three dimensions. First, empirically, it demonstrates that the coal-to-gas heating transition project has been swamped with social injustices; the absence of measures to address these would lead this mega-project to profound failure. Second, theoretically, it illustrates that the concerns of justice are even more paramount in an authoritarian context where policy processes are characterized by strong political-administrative intervention and the pursuit of efficiency at all cost. In light of this, it stresses the indispensable role of restorative justice as a core tenet in achieving energy justice in authoritarian socio-political contexts, such as China. Third, this study advocates expanding the evaluation parameters of authoritarian environmentalism to include social consequences.
... In sustainable transitions, consideration of procedural justice is important to ensure its design such that the outcomes and benefits of its expansion are more equitable. Case studies for procedural (in)justice assessments of transitions such as the implementation of solar [46] and wind projects [47,48] highlight the importance of this aspect of justice. This is particularly relevant for the hydrogen economy which could represent the opportunity for a significant geo-political and economic reshuffling [26], for example stoking fears that some actors (such as the oil and gas sector and vehicle OEMs) may be trying to "stack the deck" in terms of ensuring the positive outcomes of the hydrogen remain centralized with them [49]. ...
Article
The climate crisis, the renewed importance of energy security and geopolitics, and economic interests are fuelling interest in the hydrogen economy. While still in its nascency, if financial and political commitments are an indication, the hydrogen economy is likely to rapidly develop. Many scholars have noted, however, the significant lack of social assessments of the hydrogen economy. This work addresses this gap through a normative energy justice assessment across the hydrogen economy value chain to provide an initial proactive mapping of potential energy injustices that could occur from its development across four injustice perspectives (distribution, procedural, cosmopolitan, and recognition). Further, this work suggests potential abatement actions that could be taken to reduce the identified injustices. Lacking research on the social impacts of the hydrogen economy due to its nascency, this work benchmarks to energy justice assessments as well as abating actions from other transitions to provide this first mapping. The results of this work show that potential injustices could arise from unjust decision-making, socially irresponsible development, and the poor sharing of ills/benefits on the consumption end. While the hydrogen economy's development pathway is still largely unknown, this work hopes to provide foresight to policymakers and future researchers (who can then study them in more detail) about potential injustices along the hydrogen value chain with the goal of avoiding or reducing them. Being aware of and reducing these injustices during the development of the hydrogen economy should serve to foster public support for its proliferation.
... Reduced quantity and quality of downstream water, silt formation, and prevent migration of fish; combined with socio-cultural concerns including displacements of the relevant communities, loss of sociocultural heritage and livelihoods related to fishing and agriculture [89][90][91][92][93][94][95][96][97][98] Impacts on mountain hydrogeology, related to deforestation/tunneling/blasting/reservoir formation [92] Associated impacts of development including road-building in the region, illegal logging and mining, hydroelectric construction, radioactive dumping, and human rights violations [99] Inequities in distribution of social and environmental benefits [40] Local earthquakes, landslides, collapses [ Impact on animal habitat based on clearing for solar farms [113] Waste from PV installations not disposed of properly [114] Wind "Strobe effect" produced by turbine blades moving across the sun [115] Displacement of crops and water table disturbance due to use of non-porous concrete [116] Visual intrusion and landscape aesthetics [115,117] Potential harmful impact on wildlife [117,118] Noise nuisance ("swoosh") [117,119] "disadvantaged" and "marginalized" communities. Foreign-born residents and those not formally employed were named in two articles each. ...
Article
Renewable energy transitions are essential for decarbonizing the world economy and mitigating global climate change. Yet many energy technologies classified as renewable have human health and livelihood implications that jeopardize the lives and wellbeing of those already most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The purpose of this study is thus to summarize the documented environmental justice (EJ) impacts associated with renewable energy technologies included in many renewable energy policies globally. Our motivation for this study is to ensure that renewable energy policies incorporate concerns for justice into their formulation and implementation. We provide a systematic review of the literature assessing renewable energy technologies from the perspective of distributive, procedural, recognition, and capability interpretations of environmental justice. Our review finds that there are ten common renewable energy technologies that have EJ implications documented in the current literature, and that future energy transition policy development needs to ensure these justice concerns are addressed.
Article
India is undergoing a rapid transition to renewable energy; the Gujarat Solar Park typifies this transition. In addition to mitigating climate change, the Gujarat Solar Park boasts female empowerment through social development schemes. This manuscript is inspired by the following research question: To what extent are ‘gender positive’ processes and projects associated with solar development in India realized on the ground? Utilizing mixed methods fieldwork and drawing on literature from feminist political ecology, this paper demonstrates how the modalities of solar park development represent an antinomy of a nature-society relation. New configurations of labor under the political economy of solar have produced a gendered surplus population of landless peasants who are not absorbed into wage-labor employment in the solar park. Further, associated social development schemes actually disempower women, despite mandates of ‘gender positive’ outcomes by UN-based climate treaties to which this project is beholden. The opportunity to participate in one such scheme for female empowerment was reserved for only women of middle-to-high class status and those of dominant castes, thereby reproducing class and caste-based social power asymmetries. Female (dis)empowerment eclipses ‘gender positive’ guarantees of the solar park. This study highlights some unintended consequences of sustainable energy transitions in the Global South at the local scale. Designing development interventions related to climate change mitigation that boast ‘gender positive’ outcomes must be careful not to exacerbate gender disparities and economic exclusion in rural areas.
Article
Full-text available
The development of solar energy has been depicted as a paradigmatic break in unsustainable global growth, largely because it is framed as an innovation with minimal carbon emissions. On the contrary, drawing on literatures from spatial justice and political ecology, including on authoritarian populism, this article analyzes the rise and fall of the solar industry and the associated failures of “green industrialization” in Bitterfeld, East Germany—an area that is characterized by political, economic, and social peripheralization, marginalization, and the rise of the far right. The development of solar energy, we argue, is merely the latest iteration of an industrial growth model that is rooted in a similar modernist mode of development. Based on original mixed methods field research in eastern Germany, it argues that many of the same inequalities that characterize fossil fuels and “gray” (de)industrialization—undemocratic and unsustainable industrial processes, the concentration of corporate power and profits, and externalized waste and pollution—are replicated by solar energy. What is distinct is the fact that such contemporary “green” manufacturing processes appear to negatively affect a wider and more dispersed range of spatial locations, also denying these locales the benefits of accumulation, production, and consumption. This unevenness reflects the reconfiguration of global supply chains over the past thirty years and the nature of green production processes that depend on a wider range of inputs that invariably produce localized sacrifice zones. We offer a spatial justice framework for solar energy, zooming in at the manufacturing stage, to explore the multiple sacrifice zones at the different stages of solar energy. Finally, we highlight the politics of resignation that is the product and foundation of capitalist realism that serves to dispossess communities around solar energy manufacturing sites in eastern Germany and might feed into the rise of the populist far right. The article contributes to the emerging critical literature that analyzes the dark side of renewable energy and, in doing so, reveals the social and ecological costs of energy transitions that continue to be underresearched yet deserve heightened attention.
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This contribution is an analysis of how the rights of the Sámi to engage in reindeer husbandry are guaranteed in the green transition to renewable energy in Sweden. Consideration of the increasing number of court decisions addressing the impacts of wind energy on reindeer husbandry in Sweden raises significant questions about the fairness of the transition to sustainable development. The purpose of this analysis is to examine the impacts of wind energy on reindeer husbandry and uncover the justice issues raised by this development. Drawing on the discourse of just transition that includes distributional, procedural and recognition considerations, this analysis more specifically examines the distributive effects of the development of wind energy on reindeer husbandry and identifies how Sámi reindeer herders are included and their status and human rights as an Indigenous people recognised within this process. On this basis, the conclusion from this study is that systemic reforms of the Swedish system that take due consideration of the human rights of the Sámi as an Indigenous people must be implemented in order to ensure a transition to sustainable development that equally benefits Sámi reindeer herders and can therefore provide justice for all.
Article
Green grabbing is accelerating throughout the Global South to facilitate climate change mitigation. This paper illuminates the discursive and extra-economic means through which the state dispossesses agropastoralists of both land and energy to develop solar parks in semi-arid rural India. We advance the empirical and theoretical aspects of energy dispossessions, with implications for the agrarian question of labor. Using data obtained from mixed methods fieldwork, this research reestablishes the urgency of responding to the classical agrarian question in the context of low-carbon energy transitions.
Chapter
Off-grid solar technologies, that is those solar energy technologies which function outside the centralized grid such as lanterns, pico-systems, solar home systems, micro- or mini-grids, are increasingly being used in Africa to help reduce the electricity access gap as well as deal with the limitations of the national grid. After over a decade of the growth of the off-grid solar sector in the continent, the time is ripe to take stock of the sector. This book does so by examining how political, economic, institutional, and social forces shape the adoption of off-grid solar technologies in Africa, including how injustices linked to off-grid solar electrification are manifested at different levels and spaces. Opening the edited volume, this chapter begins by giving context of energy access in the continent. This is followed by a conceptualization of energy justice, which draws on Western and non-Western perspectives. I then show how different chapters contribute to the purpose of this volume in three parts: history and politics of off-grid solar electrification, manifestations of energy injustices, and enabling uptake. Based on discussions in the various chapters, I position the book as one that contributes to the off-grid solar and energy justice scholarship in low-income non-western contexts.
Article
Addressing concerns of justice related to energy has gained increased international attention with the adoption of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. However, scholarship has largely neglected connections between the concepts of sustainable development and energy justice, and offers few related evaluative tools. Moreover, the dominant energy development paradigm—what I term ‘energy privilege’—has received limited attention and theoretical grounding. By critically engaging theory from Karl Polanyi with concepts from environmental justice and political theory, the article develops a framework to differentiate between ‘embedded’ and ‘disembedded’ sustainable development. This framework is then applied to develop a set of principles and criteria by which energy projects, initiatives, and systems can be assessed in terms of contributing to energy justice as compared to energy privilege. The resulting framework focuses on how energy-related resources, rights, and representation take shape across the three interlocking spheres of sustainable development: the economic, the environmental, and the social. It provides a practicable tool for communities and decision-makers to evaluate the extent to which individual projects and broader energy systems are both just and sustainable.
Article
Authoritarian environmentalism (AE) has become an important source of social injustice in China. Taking clues from the theory of just transition and a case study of forestry reform in Northeast China, this article discusses the tension between environmental protection and social justice in Chinese AE. From a procedural perspective, the belief in insulated eco-elites being best placed to make environmental decisions, and the emphasis on policy expediency, are manifested in the top-down imposition of a sweeping ban on logging of natural forests. However, this non-participatory approach prevents critical and nuanced viewpoints on local impacts to be recognized and addressed. From a distributional perspective, while AE does not inherently contradict the norm of distributive justice, the forestry reform has negatively affected the undercompensated and under-supported laid off workers, created new energy poverty issues, undermined local public services, and disproportionately affected smaller, remote communities, some of whom have been outright abandoned. The findings highlight the need for scholars to engage with social justice issues in AE by championing the importance of a just transition process, experimenting with public engagement in the context of authoritarianism, and generating policy knowledge that facilitates the transformation toward sustainability.
Article
Energy justice is an important concept drawing attention to fairness and equity in the transition to clean energy. Recently, a theme that highlights procedural and distributive injustices of energy transition in authoritarian regimes, particularly China, has emerged in the literature. This study challenges this perspective with an examination of China’s photovoltaic poverty alleviation initiative (PVPA)—a policy that aims to ease poverty through a clean energy transition in rural areas. The evidence collected from interviews and surveys shows that a just energy transition has been achieved by the PVPA in two ways. First, from a just procedure perspective, there are institutionalized mechanisms ensuring procedural justice, including public consultation conducted at the village level and the disclosure of information regarding the distribution of benefits. Second, from a just outcome perspective, the PVPA has made a positive material impact on poor rural households, and more broadly, village collectives. These findings show that just energy transitions in authoritarian regimes are possible, but they assume a path in which top-down politics, rather than bottom-up pressure, is the key driving force.
Article
Solar park development in India represents yet another frontier of capital accumulation under the auspices of climate change mitigation and rural electrification, producing new social frictions in the process. The decarbonization of India’s electrical grid has put disproportionate burdens on marginalized populations, a trend particularly evident with the Gujarat Solar Park. Aside from solar arrays, it remains unclear how the vast infrastructures that sustain the Gujarat Solar Park will influence social power asymmetries at the local scale. For example, solar parks need periodic cleanings to function properly, requiring vast amounts of water. But dryland farmers from the region lack adequate water resources for irrigation and domestic purposes. Drawing on literature from feminist political ecology and critical infrastructure studies, this study investigates how the socio-material assemblage of water and electrical infrastructures of the Gujarat Solar Park unevenly distributes surreptitious burdens across differently positioned peasants. This study builds upon the conceptual frameworks of infrastructural violence and infrastructural intersectionality to illuminate the pernicious gender and caste politics of India’s renewable energy transition. Solar infrastructures, built to ameliorate energy insecurity, may exacerbate water scarcity and pose additional threats to food security by grabbing arable land and denying marginalized smallholders engaged in food production near solar parks the water resources they need to feed themselves and the nation.
Article
There is a clear need for improving justice and sustainability in the implementation of renewable energy projects. Assessing energy justice in contexts with high cultural and ecological diversity as well as high levels of marginalisation, and a post-colonial history (of domination and resistance to it), requires taking into account the local contextual understandings of justice. Current literature, however, has been mostly developed under the evidence and concepts of Global North contexts, which tend to build in universal ideas of justice, often inappropriate for policy application in the Global South. To contribute to closing this gap, the paper qualitatively analyses the implementation of a large-scale photovoltaic project in Yucatan, Mexico, examining how neighbouring indigenous communities and other key actors perceive, experience and react to procedural and socio-environmental justice issues in the project's implementation. Results show that commonly-used concepts such as consent, participation and inclusion -as currently applied in the siting of renewable infrastructure- are now mostly perceived as legitimation of projects that align with the developer and governmental priorities. Emphasising self-determination over and above the aforementioned concepts is seen as a priority among affected communities for achieving a more socially just energy transition.
Article
Climate justice has provided a normative justification for international climate change policy, but how it is to be pursued and transmitted in policymaking and policy implementation remains controversial. This study builds a theoretical link between the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), an international carbon trading scheme, and local sustainable development in China. This article uses a panel data set of the attributes of 4,429 CDM projects hosted in China from 2004 to 2015, together with socio-economic factors at the provincial level. The study’s findings support the contention that the dual objectives of carbon emission reduction and sustainable development benefits cannot be fulfilled simultaneously, though technology may remedy this trade-off, and the effect of the CDM on local sustainable development varies across Chinese regions. This article helps elucidate the localizing process of climate justice and contributes to justice theories and the literature while aiding public managers and practitioners in international climate governance. Key policy insights • Emission reductions for investment countries of CDM were achieved at the expense of local SD benefits in China. CDM exacerbated the differences among Chinese regions in achieving SD goals due to uneven economic and social conditions. • Technology innovation can remedy the negative impact of CDM, governments thus should attach importance to technology and use CDM projects to accelerate technological transfers and innovation. • Local governments should be encouraged to formulate and use local policies and processes to guide actions on CDM and to ensure their consistence with the prospect of the international mechanism by including the essence of justice. • Developing countries should improve their institutional or organizational capacity to promote sustainable social development and to better tackle climate change. • Investment of CDM projects or other international mechanisms should expand the budget expenditure, not limited to simple carbon trade, for improving the climate adaptation capacity of developing countries.
Article
Emerging technologies in food and energy systems present unique problems of resource governance. Here, we present distinct case studies to examine two emerging technologies in energy and food systems; solar parks in India and precision agriculture technologies in the US. We ask the following question: How do existing modes of governance of new and emerging technologies create physical and virtual dispossessionary enclosures for rural producers? We argue that emerging technologies for sustainability in energy and food systems present unique problems of resource governance, insofar as the neoliberal state enables energy and agritech firm hegemony at the expense of local producers. Albeit unevenly, such technological interventions have brought some social and environmental benefits to people and the environment. However, we contend that the constellation of institutions, policies and regulatory approaches that govern these technologies in agrarian spaces constitute regimes of dispossession—socially and historically specific political apparatuses for coercively redistributing resources.
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This article examines the nexus between climate vulnerability, rights and litigation with a focus on the Global South. Reducing vulnerability is inherent to climate adaptation and the protection and realisation of human rights. However, despite these linkages, vulnerability has been given scant attention in climate law literature. Through a more detailed understanding of vulnerability, we can identify a wider variety of cases that are relevant to why people are climate vulnerable and the potential for strategic interventions. Accordingly, using an interdisciplinary framework drawing upon political ecology, the article outlines two broad approaches to vulnerability. The hazards approach, based upon protecting people from the physical impacts of climate change; and the social vulnerability approach, which foregrounds the socio-political factors that underpin why particular groups of people are more vulnerable than others. India is then used as a case study to illustrate three types of litigation relevant from a vulnerability perspective: litigation on droughts, land conflicts and agrarian debt. These cases, though not traditionally defined as ‘climate litigation’, are fundamentally issues of climate vulnerability, adaptation and rights. The cases demonstrate how different framings of climate vulnerability are embedded within the arguments and directions of the courts. Ultimately, the article argues that through a closer understanding of climate vulnerability, litigation can be a vehicle for adaptation by identifying and tackling the structural causes of vulnerability and rights issues.
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Recent political, economic and policy change in the US, Australia, and Europe, in particular, have put transitions towards low-carbon energy futures at the forefront of local and national policy agendas. How these transitions are managed is likely to affect the feasibility, timing and scope of transition policy. Recognizing the existing maldistribution of the benefits and burdens of fossil fuel-based extraction, energy generation, and distribution, advocates and scholars increasingly call for policies that not only support decarbonization goals, but also those of equity. Proposals that do not contain such goals may be met with resistance. This review examines the politics of achieving more just outcomes by asking, what is our current understanding of justice advocacy and the impacts of such advocacy on the energy transition? In this study, we systematically review articles that include the key concepts of “just transition” or “energy justice” and that examine advocacy in energy transition contexts. We find advocates from diverse communities and affiliated with varied organizational types are involved in advocacy. Diverse issues motivate advocates and the most common advocate type in the literature are residents that are affected by local impacts of energy transition decisions. Extra-institutional tactics are the most common means of advocate action. We also find that advocacy is often motivated by issues related to decision-making processes and environmental degradation. These findings illuminate that: 1) energy systems and transitions are governed by processes and institutions that are often inaccessible, 2) advocates often attempt to affect change using tactics external to such processes and institutions, and 3) issues of environmental degradation are often prominent in advocacy discourse concerning the energy transition. Future research should seek to more clearly determine advocates’ primary motivations and the tactics and actions that ultimately aid or hinder more equitable outcomes.
Article
The paper investigates the discursive consensus and conflict that unfolded in the first five years after the Paris Agreement while making decisions on the pivotal justice principles in Indian energy policy. It employs discourse network analysis and draws on the concepts of storylines and discourse coalitions to analyze media discourse as well as the prominent state and non-state actors that frame it. Our findings identify three major themes in the discourse: first, a strong consensus on the intersection of energy poverty with other intra-generational injustices and renewables as a solution for ensuring energy justice; second, a mild conflictual narrative resulting in three discourse coalitions that underscores the lack of affordability, appreciation of inter-generational justice, and due process in the policies targeted to improve energy availability; and third, a strong conflict between availability and sustainability in the discussion around fossil fuel, non-fossil fuel, and renewables, resulting in three coalitions in favour of each. The paper concludes by highlighting the need to strengthen the due process component for an inclusive policy directed towards enhanced and renewable-based energy access.
Article
The rapid expansion of solar and wind energy projects is raising questions of energy justice. Some scholars argue that solar and wind project development could burden under-resourced communities with negative impacts such as environmental harm and reduced access to resources. Conversely, other scholars argue that project development could be a boon to under-resourced communities, providing local economic and cultural benefits. Here, we analyze the drivers of solar and wind project siting patterns in the United States and explore their potential energy justice implications. We find that siting patterns are driven primarily by technoeconomic factors, especially resource quality and access to open undeveloped spaces. These technoeconomic factors channel projects into sparsely populated rural areas and, to a lesser extent, areas with lower income levels. We avoid simplifying assumptions about the broad justice implications of these siting patterns and explore our results from multiple perspectives.
Article
Solar park development in India constitutes racial regimes of land ownership, as solar-related dispossessions produce a highly racialized (through caste) and gendered surplus population of landless peasants. Conceptualizing the power relations of solar power through the Plantationocene, I argue the highly ordered form of the solar park is a set of neocolonial social relations akin to an energy plantation; an archetype of an imperative, idealized and racialized reordering of nature, economy and society to power a more sustainable world-system. Agrarian climate justice requires intersectional peasant coalitions struggling to transform neocolonial land politics and implementing redistributive and emancipatory solar interventions.
Article
Renewable energy transitions are accelerating in the Global South. Yet many large-scale renewable energy infrastructures are developed on public lands with unknown impacts on commons access and usage. A prime example of this is the Gujarat Solar Park (GSP) in India, which is one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic facilities. The GSP is situated on 2,669 acres of previously common property, which has historically been used by female pastoralists for firewood collection. In this paper, we examine the following research questions: How do gender and caste power shape natural resource access in this region?; Does the Gujarat Solar Park exacerbate already gendered social-economic-political asymmetries? Our study utilizes a feminist political ecology framework to analyze the social dimensions of the GSP, drawing on recent work in this vein that uses a postcolonial and intersectional approach to examine the production of social difference through the spatial processes and political economy of solar energy generation. We find that the enclosure of public ‘wastelands’ to develop the Gujarat Solar Park has dispossessed resource-dependent women of access to firewood and grazing lands. This spatial dislocation is reinforcing asymmetrical social power relations at the village scale. Intersectional subject-positions are (re)produced vis-à-vis the exclusion of access to firewood in the land enclosed for the solar park. Affected women embody this dispossession through inter- and intra-village emotional geographies that cut across caste, class and gender boundaries.
Article
Full-text available
In many countries, water allocation has become increasingly controversial as competition has increased. This paper summarizes a research programme of seven studies over 10 years that has developed social psychological theories of justice, equity and fairness for application to the implementation and evaluation of water allocation decisions. Much of the research has been conducted in the context of the development of government sponsored water reform in Australia. This reform has emphasized the need for integrated approaches to water management which encourage efficiency of use through markets, and environmental sustainability through the introduction of environmental (in-stream) flows. The initial study tested the adequacy of equity and procedural justice theories to provide explanations about people's evaluation of decision-making in the context of water allocation. They were found to provide insufficient scope for the evaluations. Therefore, the second and third studies developed alternative universal fairness principles and adopted the fairness heuristic as a concept for judging the justice of individual water allocation decisions. It was found that the public's universal fairness principles in contrasting allocation case studies were relatively stable over a decade, and provide criteria for judging allocation decisions. Water was consistently seen as a public good; the environment was seen to have rights to water; and procedural issues were important in allocation decision-making. The most recent four studies have shifted to the local or situational fairness contexts. These four studies examined the justice or fairness principles that were appropriate for decision-making when irrigation communities were faced with possible decreased allocations to provide for environmental sustainability. Three studies were survey based, and one was an action research project to develop fairness-based rules for community management. The conclusion from these four studies was that local procedural justice issues, particularly those pertaining to public involvement for local people in decision-making, were significant determinants of judgements of the fairness of the decisions. Economic considerations had some importance, but were not the over-riding issues, and water markets were seen as unacceptable processes for water allocation or re-allocation. The research also provided evidence that self-interest is tempered by pro-social motivations such as fairness when making water-allocation decisions. Finally, it was evident that the public could make relatively complex judgements which used dimensions that go beyond the scope of traditional social psychological definitions of equity and procedural justice. [Journal Review; 38 Refs; In English; Summary in English]
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The environmental protection apparatus is broken and needs to be fixed. Governments must live up to their mandate of protecting all peoples and the environment. The call for environmental and economic justice does not stop at the United States borders but extends to communities and nations that are threatened by hazardous wastes, toxic products, environmentally unsound technology, and non-sustainable development models. Racism renders some people and communities "invisible" and vulnerable to environmental exploitation.
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Drawing on a social constructionist perspective, this paper (1) identifies some of he most salient dimensions of the ''environmental justice ''frame as it has emerged from local community struggles over toxic contamination in the United States; and (2) provides an empirical illustration of the emergence and application of this concept in a particular contaminated community, the Carver Terrace neighborhood of Texarkana, Texas. Carver Terrace, an African-American community consisting mostly of homeowners, recently organized to win a federal buyout and relocation after being declared a Superfund site in 1984. Using case study evidence, the paper argues tal the residents' ability to mobilize for social change was intimately linked to their adoption of an ''environmental justice'' frame. The intent of the conceptual discussion of environmental justice and the case study is to clarify the meaning of a term used with increasing frequency and some ambiguity in both popular and academic discourses. This paper documents the process by which the environmental justice frame is constructed in an interplay between the local community and national levels of the antitoxics movement.
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Climate communication approaches expend significant resources promoting attitudinal change, but research suggests that encouraging attitudinal change alone is unlikely to be effective. The link between an individual's attitudes and subsequent behavior is mediated by other influences, such as social norms and the “free-rider” effect. One way to engender mitigative behaviors would be to introduce regulation that forces green behavior, but government fears a resulting loss of precious political capital. Conversely, communication approaches that advocate individual, voluntary action ignore the social and structural impediments to behavior change. The authors argue that there are two crucial, but distinct, roles that communication could play in engaging the public in low carbon lifestyles: first, to facilitate public acceptance of regulation and second, to stimulate grass-roots action through affective and rational engagement with climate change. The authors also argue that using communication to stimulate demand for regulation may reconcile these “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches.
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While calls for 'environmental justice' have grown recently, very little attention has been paid to exactly what the 'justice' of environmental justice refers to, particularly in the realm of social movement demands. Most understandings of environmental justice refer to the issue of equity, or the distribution of environmental ills and benefits. But defining environmental justice as equity is incomplete, as activists, communities, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) call for much more than just distribution. This essay examines how definitions beyond the distributive in these movements can help us develop conceptions of global environmental justice. The argument is that the justice demanded by global environmental justice is really threefold: equity in the distribution of environmental risk, recognition of the diversity of the participants and experiences in affected communities, and participation in the political processes which create and manage environmental policy. The existence of three different notions of justice in the movement, simultaneously, demonstrates the plausibility of a plural yet unified theory and practice of justice. The question I want to explore here starts off in a rather straightforward way: how can the demands of global movements for environmental justice, or movements that articulate environmental concerns in their arguments against certain forms of globalisation, help in developing a definition of 'environ-mental justice' at the global level? Defining environmental justice has been attempted by numerous academics in environmental political theory. But my argument here is that given movement demands, and the theoretical innovations of some social justice theorists, most theories of environmental justice are, to date, inadequate.
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Public acceptance is recognised as an important issue shaping the widespread implementation of renewable energy technologies and the achievement of energy policy targets. Furthermore, it is commonly assumed that 'public attitudes' need to change to make more radical scenarios about the implementation of renewable energy technologies feasible. This chapter critically summarises existing social research on the acceptance of renewable energy technologies, and provides a novel classification of personal, psychological and contextual factors that combine to shape public acceptance. It concludes by arguing the need for more systematic research on public acceptance driven by coherent theoretical frameworks drawn from psychology and other social science disciplines, explicit definitions of concepts, the use of innovative methodological tools and a greater emphasis upon symbolic and affective aspects.
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Conflict around wind farm development has stimulated interest in 'community benefits' - the provision of financial or material benefits by the developers to the area affected by these facilities. By and large, both policy makers and researchers have couched the rationale for community benefits in instrumental terms, i.e. that an increased flow of community benefits will improve the social acceptability of these facilities and thereby expedite planning consent. This paper questions this conventional rationale. Proponents of this rationale neglect the institutionally structured terrain of the planning process; the provision of community benefits can shift in significance depending on whether or not the 'affected community' has any significant influence over wind farm projects. Similarly, our discourse analysis conducted in Wales shows that community benefits are seen predominantly as compensation for impacts, without any clear implication that they should change social attitudes. Our conclusion is that the dominant, instrumental rationale for community benefits obscures other, equally important justifications: the role of community benefits in promoting environmental justice; and how flows of community benefits might better serve the long-term sustainability of wind farm development areas.
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This paper aims to understand different outcomes of implementation of wind power deployment programmes. Geographical variables such as quantity of wind resources are in themselves insufficient to explain patterns of implementation of wind power. To enhance the review of the factors affecting wind power deployment we also made a systematic comparison of six country cases: Denmark, Spain, Germany, Scotland, the Netherlands, and England/Wales. The impact of four key institutional variables is examined and put into a scheme of a set of potential hypothesis about their inter-relationships. These are influenced by different national traditions: planning systems; financial support mechanisms; landscape protection organisations and patterns of ownership of wind power. (1) Planning systems, which favour wind power are essential, and in all cases national planning policies generally intend to support wind power development, but planning institutions show a wide variety with clear differences in implementation results. (2) Systems of financial support are also a sine qua non for development but they also vary in their effectiveness across country and time in the study. Robust and consistent support regimes in Denmark, Germany and Spain have speeded developments. (3) Landscape protection organisations vary in strength in a range between England/Wales (very strong and influential) to Spain (non-existent). Strong and effective opposition to wind developments is always primarily rooted in landscape values. (4) Local ownership patterns coincide with higher rates of wind power deployment than remote, corporate ownership. Local involvement recruits conditional support for projects and is related to traditions of energy activism. Such traditions are strongest in Denmark and Germany and weakest in Spain, England/Wales and Scotland.
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The main issues related to successful implementation policies concern the socio-economic institutions that are conditional to planning in the energy policy domain, but also in the domain of spatial planning. Successful investments and the siting of renewable power plants eventually determine the success rate of national efforts in establishing renewable capacity. Central planning usually has several objectives and these often have a detrimental effect on the goal of renewable energy application. Current problems related to implementation decisions concerning wind power schemes are an example to those who will be faced by other renewable power plants, notably biomass.Regarding community acceptance of wind power schemes, the visual evaluation of the impact of wind power on the values of the landscape is by far the most dominant factor in explaining opposition or support. Type of landscape fully overshadows other attitudinal attributes, as well as other visual and scenic factors such as the design of wind turbines and wind farms, and the number and the size of turbines. Planning regimes and decision-making practices that really enhance the implementation processes of renewable energy require ‘strong’ ecological modernization. This means institutional changes that create involvement and trust of actors at the actual implementation level. Local opposition cannot be explained by the egotistical motives of local residents. When the inclination to behave according to (supposed) backyard motives is investigated, the scale to measure this phenomenon appears to indicate commitment to equity issues and fairness of decision-making. Hence, for wind power, local involvement to represent the local values of site-specific landscapes is crucial. For other renewables the source-specific features are different, but conflicts can be expected as well because the fairness of implementation decisions will be equally significant.
Book
We need new ways of thinking about, and approaching, the world’s energy problems. Global energy security and access is one of the central justice issues of our time, with profound implications for happiness, welfare, freedom, equity, and due process. This book combines up-to-date data on global energy security and climate change with fresh perspectives on the meaning of justice in social decision-making. Benjamin K. Sovacool and Michael H. Dworkin address how justice theory can help people to make more meaningful decisions about the production, delivery, use, and effects of energy. Exploring energy dilemmas in real-life situations, they link recent events to eight global energy injustices and employ philosophy and ethics to make sense of justice as a tool in the decision-making process. They go on to provide remedies and policies that planners and individuals can utilize to create a more equitable and just energy future.
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In this classic work of feminist political thought, Iris Marion Young challenges the prevailing reduction of social justice to distributive justice. It critically analyzes basic concepts underlying most theories of justice, including impartiality, formal equality, and the unitary moral subjectivity. The starting point for her critique is the experience and concerns of the new social movements about decision making, cultural expression, and division of labor--that were created by marginal and excluded groups, including women, African Americans, and American Indians, as well as gays and lesbians. Iris Young defines concepts of domination and oppression to cover issues eluding the distributive model. Democratic theorists, according to Young do not adequately address the problem of an inclusive participatory framework. By assuming a homogeneous public, they fail to consider institutional arrangements for including people not culturally identified with white European male norms of reason and respectability. Young urges that normative theory and public policy should undermine group-based oppression by affirming rather than suppressing social group difference. Basing her vision of the good society on the differentiated, culturally plural network of contemporary urban life, she argues for a principle of group representation in democratic publics and for group-differentiated policies. This is a superb book which opens up many new vistas for theorists of justice. Young makes a number of insightful arguments both about the issues that need to be addressed by a theory of justice, and about the kind of theory capable of addressing them.
Book
The basic task of this book is to explore what, exactly, is meant by ‘justice’ in definitions of environmental and ecological justice. It examines how the term is used in both self-described environmental justice movements and in theories of environmental and ecological justice. The central argument is that a theory and practice of environmental justice necessarily includes distributive conceptions of justice, but must also embrace notions of justice based in recognition, capabilities, and participation. Throughout, the goal is the development of a broad, multi-faceted, yet integrated notion of justice that can be applied to both relations regarding environmental risks in human populations and relations between human communities and non-human nature.
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This paper takes a first step in comparing and synthesising the emerging concept of energy justice with extant ethical consumption literatures as two complementary theoretical approaches to ethics and consumption. To date, theories of ethical consumption and energy justice remain somewhat disconnected, so while they have some areas of potential comparability, these have not yet been fleshed out or developed. To address this lacuna, this paper explores areas where research into ethical consumption might be useful for furthering concepts of energy justice. More specifically the discussion draws on the philosophical foundations, the relationship between consumption and development, and the role of transparency and visibility in reconnecting consumption and production practices as the main areas of overlap in these literatures. The conclusion points to some lessons for emerging energy justice literatures that can be drawn from this task of comparison and synthesis.
Book
bioprospecting new form of appropriation of indigenous knowledge and their cultural and natural resource sovereignty
Article
Bringing attention to fuel poverty as a distinct manifestation of social inequality has asserted the place of affordable warmth in the profile of contemporary rights and entitlements. As such, fuel poverty can be understood as an expression of injustice, involving the compromised ability to access energy services and thereby to secure a healthful living environment. In this paper, we consider how fuel poverty may be aligned to various alternative concepts of social and environmental justice. Whilst recognising that fuel poverty is fundamentally a complex problem of distributive injustice, we argue that other understandings of injustice are also implicated and play important roles in producing and sustaining inequalities in access to affordable warmth. Addressing fuel poverty has to involve seeking justice in terms of the cultural and political recognition of vulnerable and marginalised social groups and pursuing procedural justice through opening up involvement and influence in decision-making processes. We make this argument both in theoretical terms, and through considering the experience of fuel poverty advocacy and policy development in the UK. Opportunities for future action may be illuminated through such interconnected justice framings as wider awareness of energy, climate and poverty issues emerge.
Article
Radical uncertainty, political controversy and public distrust in emerging areas of science and technology is fuelling moves towards new forms of governance centred on ex ante or ‘upstream’ public and stakeholder engagement with policy. Yet how is such deliberation and inclusion to be achieved in contentious national policy processes? We present a contextual framework that seeks to understand this question better and use it to reflect on two high-profile UK examples of ‘new governance’ in genetic modification and radioactive waste management. In doing this, we argue for: better definition of who/what is represented in such processes; mixed methodologies both to integrate analytic-deliberative dimensions and address questions of representativeness; and more systematic evaluation of the outputs and outcomes of appraisal processes. Copyright , Beech Tree Publishing.
Article
The integration of climate change adaptation considerations into management of the coast poses major challenges for decision makers. This article reports on a case study undertaken in Christchurch Bay, UK, examining local capacity for strategic response to climate risks, with a particular focus on issues surrounding coastal defense. Drawing primarily on qualitative research with local and regional stakeholders, the analysis identifies fundamental disjunctures between generic concerns over climate change and the adaptive capacity of local management institutions. Closely linked with issues of scale, the problems highlighted here are likely to have broad and continuing relevance for future coastal management elsewhere.
Article
In many countries, water allocation has become increasingly controversial as competition has increased. This paper summarizes a research programme of seven studies over 10 years that has developed social psychological theories of justice, equity and fairness for application to the implementation and evaluation of water allocation decisions. Much of the research has been conducted in the context of the development of government sponsored water reform in Australia. This reform has emphasized the need for integrated approaches to water management which encourage efficiency of use through markets, and environmental sustainability through the introduction of environmental (in-stream) flows. The initial study tested the adequacy of equity and procedural justice theories to provide explanations about people's evaluation of decision-making in the context of water allocation. They were found to provide insufficient scope for the evaluations. Therefore, the second and third studies developed alternative universal fairness principles and adopted the fairness heuristic as a concept for judging the justice of individual water allocation decisions. It was found that the public's universal fairness principles in contrasting allocation case studies were relatively stable over a decade, and provide criteria for judging allocation decisions. Water was consistently seen as a public good; the environment was seen to have rights to water; and procedural issues were important in allocation decision-making. The most recent four studies have shifted to the local or situational fairness contexts. These four studies examined the justice or fairness principles that were appropriate for decision-making when irrigation communities were faced with possible decreased allocations to provide for environmental sustainability. Three studies were survey based, and one was an action research project to develop fairness-based rules for community management. The conclusion from these four studies was that local procedural justice issues, particularly those pertaining to public involvement for local people in decision-making, were significant determinants of judgements of the fairness of the decisions. Economic considerations had some importance, but were not the over-riding issues, and water markets were seen as unacceptable processes for water allocation or re-allocation. The research also provided evidence that self-interest is tempered by pro-social motivations such as fairness when making water-allocation decisions. Finally, it was evident that the public could make relatively complex judgements which used dimensions that go beyond the scope of traditional social psychological definitions of equity and procedural justice.
Article
It is widely recognised that public acceptability often poses a barrier towards renewable energy development. This article reviews existing research on public perceptions of wind energy, where opposition is typically characterized by the NIMBY (not in my back yard) concept. The objectives of the article are to provide a critical assessment of past research and an integrated, multidimensional framework to guide future work. Six distinct strands of research are identified, summarized and critiqued: public support for switching from conventional energy sources to wind energy; aspects of turbines associated with negative perceptions; the impact of physical proximity to turbines; acceptance over time of wind farms; NIMBYism as an explanation for negative perceptions; and, finally, the impact of local involvement on perceptions. Research across these strands is characterized by opinion poll studies of general beliefs and case studies of perceptions of specific developments. In both cases, research is fragmented and has failed to adequately explain, rather than merely describe, perceptual processes. The article argues for more theoretically informed empirical research, grounded in social science concepts and methods. A multidimensional framework is proposed that goes beyond the NIMBY label and integrates previous findings with social and environmental psychological theory. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
A growing body of evidence reveals that people of color and low-income persons have borne greater environmental and health risks than the society at large in their neighborhoods, workplace, and playgrounds. Over the last decade or so, grassroots activists have attempted to change the way government implements environmental, health, and civil rights laws. Grassroots groups have organized, educated, and empowered themselves to improve the way government regulations and environmental policies are administered. A new movement emerged in opposition to environmental racism and environmenttal injustice. Over the last decades or so, grassroots activists have had some success in changing the way the federal government treats communities of color and their inhabitants. Grassroots groups have also organized, educated, and empowered themselves to improve the way health and environmental policies are administered. Environmentalism is now equated with social justice and civil rights.
Article
This article identifies social justice dilemmas associated with the necessity to adapt to climate change, examines how they are currently addressed by the climate change regime, and proposes solutions to overcome prevailing gaps and ambiguities. We argue that the key justice dilemmas of adaptation include responsibility for climate change impacts, the level and burden sharing of assistance to vulnerable countries for adaptation, distribution of assistance between recipient countries and adaptation measures, and fair participation in planning and making decisions on adaptation. We demonstrate how the climate change regime largely omits responsibility but makes a general commitment to assistance. However, the regime has so far failed to operationalise assistance and has made only minor progress towards eliminating obstacles for fair participation. We propose the adoption of four principles for fair adaptation in the climate change regime. These include avoiding dangerous climate change, forward-looking responsibility, putting the most vulnerable first and equal participation of all. We argue that a safe maximum standard of 400–500 ppm of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and a carbon tax of $20–50 per carbon equivalent ton could provide the initial instruments for operationalising the principles.
Article
Decisions concerning the siting of infrastructure developments or the use of natural resources have the potential to damage a community's social well-being if the outcomes are perceived to be unfair. Justice is accepted as central to the well functioning of society with fairness being an expectation in day-to-day interactions. Outcomes that are perceived to be unfair can result in protests, damaged relationships and divided communities particularly when decisions are made which benefit some sections of the community at the perceived expense of others. Through empirical research using a wind farm pilot study, community perceptions of a community consultation process are explored using procedural justice principles to evaluate fairness. Findings from the pilot study indicate that perceptions of fairness do influence how people perceive the legitimacy of the outcome, and that a fairer process will increase acceptance of the outcome. A key research finding was that different sections of a community are likely to be influenced by different aspects of justice, namely by outcome fairness, outcome favourability and process fairness. Based on this finding, a community fairness framework was developed which has potential application in community consultation to increase social acceptance of the outcome.
Article
Local protests against renewable energy facilities have added fuel to the debate about the so-called NIMBY (not in my back yard) effect. This paper identifies six ‘variables’ that can hamper the comparison between different public perception studies, and offers two broad conclusions. On aggregate, proximity does have strong influence on public attitudes to proposed projects, but the nature, strength and spatial scale of this effect may vary according to local context and ‘value’ of the land. Residents of stigmatised places are more likely to welcome facilities that are relatively ‘green’, while people who derive a more positive sense of identity from particular rural landscapes are likely to resist such potential developments, especially if they also live there. Secondly, the fear of being branded a NIMBY, and the positive ethics associated with the notion of renewable are both likely to ‘colour’ the responses of many interviewees. These aspects need to be clarified and accounted for in analyses of elicited responses, both quantitative and qualitative, if we are to improve our understanding of the social construction of individual attitudes in siting conflicts.
Article
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been developed to include techniques for involving the public in environmental decision making. Although there is evidence from the evaluation of EIA in many countries that these ambitions often fail, little research has been done on EIA from the viewpoint of the public or from a deliberative democracy perspective (a deliberative democracy creates high demands for participation and argumentation for all concerned). This paper discusses public involvement from the perspective of local residents and their possibilities for engaging in deliberative processes in varying arenas. A case study on an airport extension in Sweden is used as an illustrative example of more general questions of public objectives, means, strategies and influence that are raised in relation to public involvement in planning. When local residents find that the EIA process does not provide them with the tools necessary to make an impact, they may find other creative ways of acting, outside as well as within formal arrangements for public involvement. As shown by this case study EIA opens up an arena for deliberation between concerned parties, but which may then be closed by mechanisms that restrict public involvement and impact. However, there are many arenas for deliberation, both within the traditional representative system and through local protests—an important issue to address if we want to understand involvement (or non-involvement) in EIA from the viewpoint of the public as well as from a deliberative democracy perspective.
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Wind energy is now recognized as an important energy resource throughout the world. Within the United States, the state of Texas currently has the largest wind energy capacity with 8797 total megawatts and an additional 660 MW under construction. With this rapid growth, it is important to achieve a better understanding of how wind energy is being perceived by the public.This paper explores three research strands: (i) describing the environmental attitudes of a population in close proximity to a wind farm development, (ii) determining the influence that proximity has on wind energy attitudes, and (iii) determining if the Not-In-My-Backyard (Nimby) phenomenon is appropriate for explaining human perceptions of wind energy. A survey questionnaire was developed to explore perceptions of wind energy in the region as well as general attitudes about energy and the environment.Results regarding general wind energy attitudes signify overall public support for wind energy. In addition, those living closest to the wind farm indicate the lowest levels of support, while those living farthest away indicate much stronger support. Findings support the view that the use of Nimby does not adequately explain the attitudes of local wind farm opposition. Alternative explanations and planning implications are discussed with a focus on public participation and education.
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This article addresses the public acceptance of certain renewable energies (grid-connected larger PV ground-installed systems, biomass plants and wind turbines) from a socio-scientific perspective. Using an environmental–psychological approach to investigate the social factors relevant to the formation of public acceptance towards renewable energies in four different regions, recommendations for the further implementation of renewable energy systems were to be derived. The present study has been conducted in a multi-modal research design combining a standardised questionnaire and qualitative interviews and focused on the residents’ views and perceptions. Especially within the quantitative analyses, the results indicate that economic consideration of the respective renewable energy system, understood as a positive cost–benefit calculation made by the individual, is the strongest predictor for a reported acceptance. Furthermore, the importance of landscape evaluation and a strong connection between procedural justice criteria, such as transparency, early and accurate information as well as possibilities to participate during the planning and installation process, and a reported public acceptance became evident. Qualitative data were analysed in reference to the grounded theory and showed the relevance of the operating company's commitment on the local level, participation of the general public and the choice of the location for the plant were among the relevant aspects for acceptance in the implementation process.This survey is part of a 3-year project funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
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Public participation in decision-making about development has many benefits especially in the coastal zone and in the near-shore marine environment. This research expands the discussion of public involvement in decisions about marine resource use by examining public participation in environmental impact assessment as relevant for offshore renewable energy facilities. A review of empirical and theoretical research supports the development of a framework for further analysis. The framework consists of five main features: (1) effective communication, (2) broad-based inclusion, (3) prioritization, (4) early three-way learning, and (5) alternatives analysis. The paper's concluding sections explore the relevance of such a framework and indicate possible applications.
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Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) describes a growing family of approaches and methods to enable local people to share, enhance and analyze their knowledge of life and conditions, to plan and to act. PRA has sources in activist participatory research, agroecosystem analysis, applied anthropology, field research on farming systems, and rapid rural appraisal (RRA). In RRA information is more elicited and extracted by outsiders; in PRA it is more shared and owned by local people. Participatory methods include mapping and modeling, transect walks, matrix scoring, seasonal calendars, trend and change analysis, well-being and wealth ranking and grouping, and analytical diagramming. PRA applications include natural resources management, agriculture, poverty and social programs, and health and food security. Dominant behavior by outsiders may explain why it has taken until the 1990s for the analytical capabilities of local people to be better recognized and for PRA to emerge, grow and spread.
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How can and should risk managers incorporate public preferences, integrate public input into the management process, and assign the appropriate roles to technical experts, stakeholders and members of the public? Which trade-offs should be used for risk management? Which concerns should be adopted in decisions that may determine life or death of many people?This paper discusses the potential of and requirements for an analytic-deliberative decision-making process in the field of risk management. It addresses the challenges for making public deliberation a part of the risk management process. Moreover, it articulates the requirements for integrating analytic reasoning with deliberation and interpretation. As a result of these requirements, a model of participation is developed that attempts to meet the two major objectives: to enhance competence in the decision-making process and to assign responsibility in managing risks to those who will be affected by the potential consequences.
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This paper presents a new approach to the development of environmental policy, relying on the combination of several instruments to achieve different objectives and on the active involvement of the stakeholders in the policy development process. The development of an innovative system of environmental policy instruments for sustainable management of pig farming in a municipality in Portugal is used to illustrate the proposed approach. The system is based on the adoption of a policy mix, combining a command and control approach, established through a regulation for the pig farming sector, with economic instruments (a sustainability fund and a tradable pig raising rights system) and voluntary approaches (an eco-label for meat products from farms with superior sustainability performance). The design of the instruments has followed a participatory and transparent approach, where the stakeholders were actively engaged in the decision making process.
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Most of the studies on the Indian energy sector focus on the possible future scenarios of Indian energy system development without considering the management dimension to the problem--how to ensure a smooth transition to reach the desired future state. The purpose of this paper is to highlight some sector management concerns to a sustainable energy future in the country. The paper follows a deductive approach and reviews the present status and possible future energy outlooks from the existing literature. This is followed by a strategy outline to achieve long-term energy sustainability. Management challenges on the way to such a sustainable future are finally presented. The paper finds that the aspiration of becoming an economic powerhouse and the need to eradicate poverty will necessarily mean an increase in energy consumption unless a decoupling of energy and GDP growth is achieved. Consequently, the energy future of the country is eminently unsustainable. A strategy focussing on demand reduction, enhanced access, use of local resources and better management practices is proposed here. However, a sustainable path faces a number of challenges from the management and policy perspectives.
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Empowerment has become a major rationale for adult literacy work, but the relationship between literacy and becoming empowered it not as straightforward as is sometimes assumed. Among Indian nomads, whose traditional occupation is becoming ever less viable, attempts to evolve a peripatetic adult literacy programme met with only limited success. Nomads saw the programme as a vehicle for gaining the technical skills to deal with a defined range of tasks, but since it could not offer the economic, cultural and symbolic capital they seek in their present circumstances, viewed formal schools as the route to empowerment.
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Although transparency is a key concept of our times, it remains a relatively understudied phenomenon in global environmental politics. The link between transparency and accountable, legitimate and effective governance is assumed, yet the nature and workings of this link require further scrutiny. Transparency via information disclosure is increasingly at the heart of a number of global environmental governance initiatives, termed "governance-by-disclosure" here. The article identifies two assumptions that underpin such governance-by-disclosure initiatives, and calls for comparative analysis of the workings of such assumptions in practice, as a way to illuminate the nature and implications of a transparency turn in global environmental governance and its link to accountable, legitimate and effective governance. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.