Energy justice is complex and cannot be universally conceptualized or applied to decision-making. But it will be critical for garnering support and building momentum to actualize a widespread clean energy transition. Much work has been done identifying the technologies and systems that can decarbonize the global energy system. However, as those technologies move from theory to practice, scaling up at the pace needed to stop the worst impacts of climate change, the resulting opportunities and challenges will require meaningful integration of an energy justice framework, and incorporation of affected populations, into planning and decision-making.
Policies, studies, and public-private collaborations are all signs of progress towards justice in the energy system transition. However, there is more that can and must be done. As renowned justice researchers have identified, several measures to help LMI individuals access and afford sustainable energy already exist (federal programs such as WAP and LIHEAP), but are often not effectively planned and do not account for the realities faced by the target residents (Yale Environment). There is still much to learn about the energy challenges of LMI citizens, especially those from historically marginalized groups, and translate them into actionable policy and investment measures to help alleviate the energy justice gap and to prioritize the inclusion of all in the fight against climate change.