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Title: Using social science perspectives on risk to implement an environmental justice analysis: Is this the right way forward to mitigate the social risks of low carbon energy technologies and help policy makers achieve renewable energy targets worldwide?
Contributor(s): Le Gal, Elodie (author)
Publication Date: 2016
DOI: 10.4337/9781785368462.00011
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Abstract: The aim of the Twelfth IUCNAEL colloquium was to explore energy themes relating to achieving a 'fair society in a safe planet'. In the context of global climate change and rising world energy demand putting increasing pressures on finite natural resources, new efficient and sustainable energy technologies are being developed to sustain human activities, combat climate change and protect global environmental assets. While non-renewable fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal are likely to remain the main sources of energy supply around the world in the near future, different low-carbon technologies are being developed to maximize renewable energies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These technologies include wind power (on-shore and off-shore); solar (photo-voltaic and solar thermal electricity); geothermal power; biomass; hydro-power (small-scale and large-scale); biogas (including landfill and sewage gas). According to the International Energy Agency (lEA), renewable energy is one of the key pillars of a low-carbon economy, along with other elements such as energy efficiency, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage. However, in its Foresight Report, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) identified emerging global environmental issues: specifically the need to overcome the barriers to implementing renewable energies and the importance of adopting new approaches for minimizing the risks of novel technologies. These two key themes have thus been brought to the attention of policy-makers. The Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accidents, on such catastrophic scales, highlight how the history of energy innovation can have environmental, social and economic consequences, and often at the expense of more vulnerable populations. New low-carbon energy technologies are not risk-free to humans and natural systems and the regulations of these new forms of energy production can also impact vulnerable communities.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Energy, Governance and Sustainability, p. 78-98
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Place of Publication: Cheltenham, United Kingdom
ISBN: 9781785368110
Field of Research (FOR): 180111 Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Series
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