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Planetary Justice and Energy Transition Technologies

BMS Starter Grant:

Planetary Justice and Energy Transition Technologies

UT Principal Investigator: Dr. Michel Bourban

UT Project Members: Prof. Philip Brey (Promotor), Dr. Michel Bourban (Daily Supervisor), Prof. Gül Özerol (Daily Supervisor), Linde Franken (PhD Student)


This project investigates the link between planetary justice and the energy transition. It clarifies the specific planetary justice issues raised by the energy transition, drawing on the triumvirate approach to energy justice that incorporates recognitional justice, distributive justice, and procedural justice. It also asks whether the normative framework of planetary justice can stand in the absence of a broader ethical framework, and, if necessary, explore the role other ethical considerations play in the framework.

The objectives of the projects are twofold: 

  1. to clarify the demands of planetary justice in the context of the energy transition. 
  2. to apply planetary justice to the multi-level governance process for the energy transition. 

To achieve the first objective, a conceptual literature review covering different fields is conducted, especially planetary justice, energy justice, and gender justice. At this stage, an intersectional approach will be adopted that focuses on the different but often mutually reinforcing forms of injustices. 

The second objective will be achieved through a top-down approach making principles of justice operational by translating them into assessment criteria and indicators, a bottom-up approach including semi-structured interviews, focus group meetings and action research, or a combination of both approaches involving participatory methods, for instance by using the inputs of experts through interviews or surveys to assess the principles. In any case, the second objective will be pursued through a multi-scalar approach articulating principles of justice with specific energy transition initiatives at the international, national, or sub-national level.