Energy Security, Decarbonization, and the Environmental Justice Movement

Sustainability in Environment, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 53-66, 2023

14 Pages Posted: 19 May 2023

Date Written: May 6, 2023


This article will analyse two key challenges of today: 1) energy security and decarbonization in the context of the United Nations sustainable development goals, and 2) decarbonization and energy security from the perspective of environmental justice. Energy security and decarbonization are integral components of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, they are addressed in SDG7, which aims to ensure universal access to clean and affordable energy. Access to energy is crucial for the development of vital sectors such as agriculture, business, communications, education, healthcare, and transportation, and a lack of access to energy can impede human and economic development. In addition, the effects of climate change are disproportionately borne by those residing in the developing world. This inequity needs to be at the core of any climate change research both at a practical and theoretical level. However, some scholars have argued that dominant modes of thinking about climate change and environmental hazards have often chosen to ignore this inequity or have not placed such inequity at the core of their analysis. This is where the Environmental Justice movement acts as a game changer. We argue that it provides an alternative rationality to approach environmental hazards, with the social injustices and inequities at its center that are direct or indirect effects of environmental degradation and climate change.

Keywords: energy security, decarbonization, sustainable development goals, access to energy, environmental justice movement

JEL Classification: K33, Q01, Q20, Q27, Q30, Q38, Q32, Q48, Q54, Q56

Suggested Citation

Leal-Arcas, Rafael and Gasimov, Ahad and Reddy, Vundhyala Shanthan, Energy Security, Decarbonization, and the Environmental Justice Movement (May 6, 2023). Sustainability in Environment, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 53-66, 2023, Available at SSRN:

Rafael Leal-Arcas (Contact Author)

Alfaisal University ( email )

P.O. Box 50927
Riyadh, 11533
Saudi Arabia

Ahad Gasimov

Tel-Aviv University

Vundhyala Shanthan Reddy

Tel-Aviv University

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