Let capabilities ring: Operationalizing energy justice in Guinea

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The need to encompass energy decisions within a broader perspective of ethical concerns has recently been advocated. This article subscribes to this view and adopts a normative framework founded on both the energy justice framework and the capability approach to assess the data of an electricity access survey of 3,680 households in Guinea based on the ESMAP’s Multi-Tier Framework. Energy justice appeals to a range of moral theories and perspectives but a capability-focused approach can offer the necessary space for a coherent interpretation. As an approach more centered on individuals it can also help identifying how certain groups or people (such as those of our survey) may be more vulnerable than others to certain impacts of our energy systems. The paper thereby adopts an ex-ante as well as an ex-post approach by using the empirical results to help operationalize our energy justice framework but also by applying this framework for assessing the energy situation in Guinea. Three main goals are pursued: (1) to provide yet unpublished data on electricity access in Guinea; (2) to discuss what this country as well as other developing countries could do to move closer to energy justice; and (3) to further the discussion on energy justice, and how it can be operationalized, by discussing the challenges of a multidimensional framework and by proposing indicators. It ends with recommendations for fostering energy justice in this country.

This content has been updated on 5 May 2021 at 14 h 36 min.