Climate technology and climate justice

Energy transitions in Germany, India and Australia

Authored by: James Goodman , Devleena Ghosh , Tom Morton

Routledge Handbook of Climate Justice

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138689350
eBook ISBN: 9781315537689
Adobe ISBN:


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With the advent of climate change, and associated transnational climate policy, it has become critical to develop a deeper understanding of the socio-ecological relations of emissions reduction. Climate technologies are often presented as technical solutions, but they are also social technologies, conditional upon social and political legitimacy. The concept of a stable climate is socially defined, as any rise in global temperature produces social injustice. Climate technology is framed by definitions of justice, and its success depends on social legitimacy. What, then, are the social preconditions for climate technologies? The chapter addresses these issues, focusing on the field of energy transition. Conditions for energy decarbonisation reflect narratives of climate justice and can vary dramatically across development contexts. To explore these dynamics, the chapter compares energy transitions in India, Germany and Australia, demonstrating how climate action is embedded in justice concerns. It focuses especially on the socio-political drivers and barriers to energy transitions in the three contexts, to better understand issues of decarbonisation and climate justice. National-level policy analysis draws out contrasting conditions and common dynamics, mapping linkages between forms of climate justice and renewable energy in the three countries.

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