Are electric vehicles and charging poles only meant for the rich? Are energy cooperatives inclusive enough? Is an eco-lifestyle realistic for everyone?
Tonight’s lecture zooms in on the relationship between the transition to sustainable energy and social inequality, and the role of governance in this relationship. It presents examples in which energy systems are rendered more sustainable, while (often unintended) perpetuating or even increasing social inequality. A blind spot for what can be called ‘ecological inequality’ is related to how sustainable energy is often framed in academia and public debate, namely techno-centred and economically driven. The lecture argues for a more politically sensitive understanding of the sustainable energy transition, which seeks to render energy systems more sustainable, while mitigating social inequalities.
About Shivant Jhagroe
Dr. Shivant Jhagroe is assistant professor at the faculty of Governance and Global Affairs of Leiden University. In 2016, he was awarded a PhD by Erasmus University Rotterdam (Dutch Research Institute for Transitions, DRIFT) for his research on the political significance of sustainable urbanization. He developed an analytical framework to critically interpret the politics of urban transformations. He also conducted empirical research into top-down and bottom-up sustainability initiatives in Rotterdam and The Hague, and the way in which these play out for different social groups. Subsequently, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Technology, Innovation & Society at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), where he studied the emergence of smart energy networks.
About Lecture Series ‘Ecological Inequality’
The transition towards sustainability might be something we can no longer afford to avoid. But how will the benefits and costs be distributed, and how will it affect inequality? In the wake of the Katowice Climate Change Conference urging the world to embrace rigorous measures, discussions do not only revolve around the efficacy of climate policies, but also around their equity. Who is paying for these measures? Who are the winners and losers of such transition processes?
In this series, we use the concept of ecological inequality to shed light on the (potential) inequality implications of sustainability transitions, and the trade-offs embedded in these processes. Explore how transition processes may run the risk of increasing polarization between haves and have-nots. And what about the other way around? Under what conditions can sustainability measures have the potential to mitigate inequalities and to challenge existing wealth and power relations?