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Dwarkasing, Chandni (2023) 'Inequality determined social outcomes of low-carbon transition policies: A conceptual meta-review of justice impacts.' Energy Research and Social Science, 97. p. 102974.

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Inequality and climate change represent two key challenges in modern societies across the world. In this paper, we provide a critical engagement with the literature that treats aggravated social and economic inequalities as (potential) negative outcomes of climate and low-carbon transition policies that aim to achieve carbon emission reductions in energy and transport sectors. We introduce a conceptual meta-review that systematises but also departs from three existing literature reviews by challenging the prevailing treatment of inequalities as ex-post negative outcomes. Instead, we draw on literature that treats multifaceted inequalities as systemic occurrences that are rooted in socio-economic structures. Therefore, the conceptual meta-review exhibits an inequality filter which shapes the nature of policy costs, benefits and compliance. In other words, multifaceted inequalities are treated as ex-ante phenomena that interact with climate and low-carbon transition policies. This interaction then determines social outcomes in terms of energy access, health, employment, essential goods affordability and livelihoods. Each of these outcomes then feed back into the inequality filter where existing inequalities are either amplified or diminished. In order to examine the efficacy of our conceptual framework, we also provide a limited review of more recent literature that discusses the social outcomes of climate and low-carbon transition policies as well as measures to prevent negative social outcomes. Altogether, this paper suggests that the mitigation of systemic inequalities, rather than the prevention of aggravated inequalities, is necessary to avert the transmission from climate and low-carbon policies to negative social outcomes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Low-carbon transitions, Climate policy, Energy policy, Climate justice, Just transitions, Social outcomes, Inequality, Inclusive transition policies
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
ISSN: 22146296
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2023 14:44
Funders: Other

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