ENV 561b () / 2023-2024

Energy Justice Seminar

Credits: 1.5

Spring 2024: M, 10:30-11:50, Bowers


The field of energy justice is evolving rapidly.  Just two years ago, this course defined energy justice as “the goal of achieving equity in the social and economic participation in the  energy system, while also remedying social, economic, and health impacts on those  disproportionately harmed by the energy system”.  In late 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, capping a run of new, climate and energy related funding totalling almost $2 trillion; and 40% of the benefits of that funding (presumably far greater than $2 trillion) are supposed to flow to “disadvantaged communities”. Internationally, the UN Conferences of the Parties over the last few years have also sought to institutionalize financial and policy mechanisms meant to fill an estimated $500 billion/year gap in clean energy finance to the Global South. As we enter 2024, energy justice is a burgeoning field of real-world practices driving beyond equity and remedies into major domestic and international financial instruments as well as on-the-ground energy projects of significant magnitude. Drawing on Yale’s faculty and practitioners from the field, this energy justice seminar will give students detailed insight into the latest thinking and practice and help prepare students to work in this field. The seminar will be inherently  interdisciplinary, drawing from multiple disciplines, including but not limited to law,  sociology, anthropology, and economics. It will cover topics relating to energy justice in the areas of policy and regulation, community advocacy, legal implications, health implications, and private sector innovation.