Mari Martiskainen, Benjamin Sovacool, Max Lacey-Barnacle, Debbie Hopkins, Kirsten Jenkins, Neil Simcock, Giulio Mattioli and Stefan Bouzarovski
There is an urgent need to decarbonise domestic energy and transport if we are to address climate change. This must, however, be done in a way that avoids worsening inequality: by reducing the most carbon intensive forms of consumption that cause the most emissions while also paying attention to the differentiated impacts for those who are vulnerable in society. Energy poverty generally refers to the inability to attain socially and materially necessitated levels of domestic energy services, such as heating, lighting, and hot water. Yet, while much research has focused on domestic energy poverty, significantly less attention has been paid to “transport poverty,” i.e., the inability to attain socially and materially necessitated levels of transport services. Energy and transport services have direct impacts on people’s wellbeing, life chances, and the ability to fully participate in society. Living in energy poverty, for example, can mean not having access to or being able to afford the required technologies or appliances to keep a home at a comfortable temperature or cook hot meals. Someone experiencing transport poverty, meanwhile, may not be able to afford or access essential transport services, restricting their ability to travel for fundamental needs, such as employment, education, or healthcare.
Martiskainen, M., Sovacool, B.K., Lacey-Barnacle, M. Hopkins, D., Jenkins, K.E.H., Simcock, N., Mattioli, G. and Bouzarovski, S. 2020. New dimensions of vulnerability to energy and transport poverty. Joule, 5(1): 3–7. doi: 10.1016/j.joule.2020.11.016
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