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Dartmouth College

Energy Justice: Fostering More Equitable Energy Futures

Dartmouth College via Coursera


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 course is for you!

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.

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


  • Introduction to the Course and to the Landscape of Energy Justice
    • This module lays the groundwork for the course, overviewing objectives and approach, meeting one another, and taking a look at our own positionality. It also establishes the imperative for combating energy injustice and defines energy justice, exploring its roots in environmental justice and as a response to structural inequity.
  • Energy Systems and Justice Frameworks
    • This module presents energy systems as human and social (as well as physical), invites students to explore their own energy systems, and explores and applies core principles of energy justice.
  • Creating More Just Energy Systems
    • This module draws on researchers and practitioners to present varied case studies of energy justice and injustice, identifies and reviews a range of tools and toolkits useful for addressing energy injustice, and helps launch students on the next stage of integrating EJ approaches in their own professional and civic lives.

Taught by

Amanda C. Graham


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 28 ratings

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