Energy Justice, Decarbonization, and the Clean Energy Transformation
Addressing climate change will require significant reductions in carbon emissions. Decarbonization will likely lead to increases in energy prices, which are regressive. Poorer households spend a higher percentage of income on energy and also have less access to energy efficient options in housing, transportation (including electric vehicles), and household durables. This review summarizes the state of knowledge on the energy justice implications of the clean energy transformation along four dimensions¤mdash¤production of energy, energy insecurity/energy poverty, access to clean energy technologies, and impacts of policy instrument choices for achieving decarbonization. Along each dimension there is evidence of greater negative impacts on lower-income households and on Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) households, even controlling for income. But there is also evidence that these impacts can be mitigated through policy choices. Together these findings highlight that centering justice concerns in policy debates is critical for a just and clean energy transformation.