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Job Talk - How much energy do we 'need'? Assessing the climate development conflict

There is both confusion and concern regarding the relationship between poverty eradication and climate change. What impact will rising living standards have on greenhouse gas emissions? Will climate mitigation set back efforts to eradicate poverty? Academic research so far offers limited insights to these questions, partly because of how we frame the problem. There is a growing interest in relating human development directly to climate change, rather than through GDP. One key facet of this inquiry is, how much energy is ‘needed’ to eradicate poverty? In this presentation, I will contrast past and new research approaches, and offer new insights on the energy resource requirements to address multidimensional poverty. I will focus on three themes: first, I will propose the constituents of ‘decent living standards’ – the material requirements for human well-being – drawing from basic needs and capabilities approaches and global ‘preferences’. Second, I will discuss new findings on the potential synergies between eradicating ‘hidden’ hunger and mitigating climate change in India. Third, I will discuss the importance of the interaction between social and energy policies in assessing the equity and poverty impacts of national and international climate policy. This research informs not only future development policy priorities, but also provides a human rights perspective to assess fairness in global mitigation efforts.
by Rob Peeler Mar 01, 2017
When Mar 13, 2017
from 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM
Where 12 Katz Building, University Park, PA 16802
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Presented by Narasimha Rao

Abstract

There is both confusion and concern regarding the relationship between poverty eradication and climate change.  What impact will rising living standards have on greenhouse gas emissions? Will climate mitigation set back efforts to eradicate poverty? Academic research so far offers limited insights to these questions, partly because of how we frame the problem. There is a growing interest in relating human development directly to climate change, rather than through GDP. One key facet of this inquiry is, how much energy is ‘needed’ to eradicate poverty? In this presentation, I will contrast past and new research approaches, and offer new insights on the energy resource requirements to address multidimensional poverty. I will focus on three themes: first, I will propose the constituents of ‘decent living standards’ – the material requirements for human well-being – drawing from basic needs and capabilities approaches and global ‘preferences’. Second, I will discuss new findings on the potential synergies between eradicating ‘hidden’ hunger and mitigating climate change in India. Third, I will discuss the importance of the interaction between social and energy policies in assessing the equity and poverty impacts of national and international climate policy. This research informs not only future development policy priorities, but also provides a human rights perspective to assess fairness in global mitigation efforts.