Elite power in low-carbon transitions: A critical and interdisciplinary review

Modern energy systems have tended towards centralized control by states, and national and multinational energy companies. This implicates the power of elites in realizing low-carbon transitions. In particular, low-carbon transitions can create, perpetuate, challenge, or entrench the power of elites. Using a critical lens that draws from geography, political science, innovation studies, and social justice […]

Decarbonization and its discontents: a critical energy justice perspective on four low-carbon transitions

Low-carbon transitions are often assumed as positive phenomena, because they supposedly reduce carbon emissions, yet without vigilance, there is evidence that they can in fact create new injustices and vulnerabilities, while also failing to address pre-existing structural drivers of injustice in energy markets and the wider socio-economy. With this in mind, we examine four European […]

The whole systems energy injustice of four European low-carbon transitions

The need for multi-scalar analysis of energy and low-carbon systems is becoming more apparent as a way to assess the holistic socioeconomic and environmental impacts of energy transitions across a variety of scales and lifecycle stages. This paper conducts a whole systems energy justice analysis of four European low-carbon transitions—nuclear power in France, smart meters […]

Climate policies and skill-biased employment dynamics: Evidence from EU countries

The political acceptability of climate policies is undermined by job-killing arguments, especially for the least-skilled workers. However, evidence of the distributional impacts for different workers remains scant. We examine the associations between climate policies, proxied by energy prices, and workforce skills for 14 European countries and 15 industrial sectors over the period 1995–2011. Using a […]

The precarious political economy of cobalt: Balancing prosperity, poverty, and brutality in artisanal and industrial mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

This study examines the political economy of cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There, a veritable mining boom for cobalt is underway, driven by rising global demand needed for batteries and other modern digital devices. Based on extensive and original field research—including expert interviews, community interviews with miners and traders, and naturalistic […]