What Is Energy Justice?

Massive power outages during the recent Texas storms exposed inequities in the energy grid that run along racial and class lines

Words of Warming is a new series from Future Human defining the language of climate change and environmental and climate justice.

Definition of energy justice

: an attempt to remediate historic and ongoing social, economic, and health burdens suffered by historically marginalized communities because of how the energy system is structured. Energy justice also seeks to make social and economic participation in the energy system more equitable and inclusive of historically marginalized communities. During recent power outages across the state of Texas, millions of Texans experienced power outages. Poor people and people of color were among the first to have their power cut off and experienced lack of access to backup power sources. They also faced longer waits to get their power turned back on.

As a result, dozens of environmental justice organizations recently published an open letter calling on House Energy and Commerce Committee in Congress to include energy justice provisions in the next stimulus package:

Households across the country are struggling to afford and access reliable and clean energy — a vital human right threatened by the climate emergency and a centralized, fossil fuel-laden, and inequitable power system. These households are disproportionately low-wealth and from Black, Brown, Indigenous and other communities of color.

Drew Costley is a Staff Writer at FutureHuman covering the environment, health, science and tech. Previously @ SFGate, East Bay Express, USA Today, etc.

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