Energy justice, a whole systems approach

Kirsten Jenkins, Darren McCauley, Raphael Heffron, Hannes Stephan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current energy justice framework considers distributional, procedural and recognition tenets. The full extent and diversity of justice implications within the energy system, however, is currently neglected, as many debates on energy do not consider the impact of the energy system in full, from resource extraction to waste disposal. This article makes the case for a reconceptualisation of energy justice that includes a systems perspective at its core using the example of fuel poverty. Systems theory typically considers a set of subsystems that coordinate to accomplish defined goals, in this case, energy production. This 'interactionist' understanding focuses on the impacts of the relationships between the governors and the governed, and the moments at which there is the possibility to intervene and steer the system. It contains the idea that – by bringing greater awareness of human needs and actions – it is possible to improve the system overall. This reconceptualisation thus contributes to the theoretical concept of energy justice, as well as informing justice in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-87
Number of pages14
JournalQueen's Political Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Energy justice, a whole systems approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this