November 16, 2016

Sustainable Consumption Teaching Series: Gordon Walker on “Sustainable consumption and energy justice”

By Gordon Walker, Lancaster University


Questions to guide discussions

  1. Can you give some examples of different understandings of justice and how this is relevant to energy consumption?
  2. How would you characterise the energy consumption patterns of older populations? Are issues of justice related to these just a matter of their own access to essential energy services, or are their climate justice considerations that are relevant as well?
  3. How is the gendered dimension of household chores related to the progressive extension of energy consumption in the home? How will shifts towards a low carbon energy system need to take into consideration such gender inequalities?
  4. How would you design a participative approach towards an inclusive strategy to address energy poverty?


Professor Gordon Walker is Co-Director of the DEMAND Centre (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand) at Lancaster University, funded by the RCUK Energy Programme. He has expertise on the social and spatial dimensions of sustainable energy technologies, sustainability transitions, sustainable social practices and cross cutting issues and theories of energy and environmental justice.  He has led a series of multi-partner projects funded by UK research councils and government departments focused on the dynamics of energy demand, community energy, fuel and energy poverty, zero carbon housing, energy use in care settings, fuel poverty, renewable energy and public engagement and flooding and resilience. His books include ‘Environmental Justice: concepts, evidence and politics’ (Routledge, 2012) and as co-editor ‘Energy Justice in a Changing Climate: social equity and low carbon energy’ (Zed 2013).

Recommended readings

Walker G and Day R (2012) Fuel poverty as injustice: integrating distribution, recognition and procedure in the struggle for affordable warmth, Energy Policy, 49, 69-75.

Walker, G, Simcock, N and Day, R. (2016) ‘Necessary energy uses and a minimallydecent standard of living in the UK: Energy Justice or escalating expectations?’, Energy Research & Social Science, 18, 129-138.

Day, R., Walker, G and Simcock N (2016) ‘Understanding energy use and energy poverty using a capabilities framework’ Energy Policy, 93, 255-264

Additional resources