Energy Justice: Fostering More Equitable Energy Futures

Just, Equitable Energy Futures For All

Are you motivated by the idea that social justice can be served by the energy transition, but are not sure how to make this happen? Do you want to grow your ability to recognize — and do something about — injustice in the energy space?  Are you a sustainability or environmental professional eager to help design just energy systems? Do you wonder how to help advance equity in your community's energy decisions?

This new online course, Energy Justice: Fostering More Equitable Energy Futures, hosted on the Coursera online learning platform, is for you!

Led by Irving Institute Academic Director Dr. Amanda Graham and featuring guest speakers from Dartmouth College, Rice University, and Arizona State University, this 100% online, learn-at-your-own-pace introduction to building your own foundation and skillset in energy justice is geared toward energy, climate, and sustainability professionals, community leaders, and citizens who want to integrate an energy justice framework into their own work.

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About the Course

Energy is the lifeblood of the modern way of life. Yet not everyone has equal access to its benefits, and the environmental and social costs of producing, transporting, and using it are not evenly distributed. In this course you will explore the idea and practice of energy justice: what does it look like? Why are societies struggling to achieve it? What do we mean by sociotechnical energy systems, and how can we make them more equitable?

The purposes of this course are (1) to introduce individuals and organizations to the concept of energy justice and where it comes from, and (2) to help them build a toolkit to identify and leverage opportunities to increase fairness and equity in energy-related decisions and actions. After completing this course, learners should be better equipped to recognize and confront energy injustice in their personal and professional lives, and to help envision and foster energy justice in society.

You can audit the course for free. Fees apply if you wish to earn a certificate of completion. More details are available on the Coursera website. 

Course Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define energy justice and explain its relationship to environmental justice, climate justice, and energy democracy
  • Define structural inequity and describe the impact of historical racism on today's energy systems
  • Describe the social complexity of energy systems as well as their major physical elements
  • Identify and explain key energy justice principles and frameworks
  • Distinguish between multiple forms of injustice in energy systems and analyze potential remedies
  • Discuss energy injustice and structural inequality with fluency
  • Identify and assess energy injustices in personal, professional and civic contexts
  • Design strategies to integrate energy justice into professional work and civic life
  • Advocate for energy justice as an essential element of energy transitions and climate change mitigation
  • Envision more just energy futures

About the Instructor

Amanda Graham, PhD, is the Academic Director for the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth College. In this role, her priorities are to engage all members of the Dartmouth community, to expand understanding of the fundamental roles energy systems play in society, and to partner with students, faculty, and alumni to evolve those systems toward a more just and sustainable world.  Prior to Dartmouth, Amanda served in several roles at MIT, including Executive Director of the Environmental Solutions Initiative and Education Director for the MIT Energy Initiative.  At MIT she led the development of multidisciplinary curricula and co-curricula in energy studies and environment and sustainability, including undergraduate minors, programs for first-year and graduate students, and intensive educational experiences with international students.  Amanda is a founding member of the Committee on Energy, Equity, and Justice of the University Energy Institutes Coalition and a member of the organizing committee for the Community of Educators for Energy Transitions within the Global Council for Science and the Environment.