The intersections between racial justice and energy demand research
In 2021, CREDS and the Runnymede Trust organised a joint workshop for experts in the fields of racial and energy justice, to discuss the intersections between these two areas of research.
Based on this conversation, CREDS advertised a post and has recruited a researcher who started in the spring of 2022 to scope this agenda and help us advocate for funding. This blog describes the background of this conversation.
Despite extensive research on fuel poverty in the UK, and a growing literature on energy justice, there is a gap in research examining the intersection between racial justice and energy demand. As the energy system undergoes its most rapid transformation ever, decarbonising, digitising and shifting which type of energy is used for what (such as the use of electricity in heating and transport), there is a danger that energy policy and infrastructural developments will overlook and impact already marginalised ethnic minority groups (Ongen, 2021).
Intersectionality “views categories of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, ability, ethnicity and age, amongst other things, as interrelated and mutually shaping (one) another” (Hill Collins and Bilge, 2020). Lack of access to energy affects all aspects of life, including housing, health, mobility, access to culture and recreational activities, as well feelings of fulfilment (Bartiaux et al., 2018). Socio-economic status is both a cause of, and exacerbated by, this lack of access.