Energy Justice: The Role Of Corporate And Commercial Lawyers



Energy holds a crucial role in fostering societal progress and bolstering economic growth while serving as a key element in poverty alleviation and safeguarding national security. Consequently, ensuring uninterrupted access to energy is a vital priority for every country in the contemporary era. Energy Justice refers to the goal of achieving equity in both the social and economic participation in the energy system while addressing the legacy of harm in the energy system by mitigating its ongoing social, economic, and health impacts on marginalized populations (Frontline Communities). In essence, energy justice centers the concern of communities or groups of people who are systematically disadvantaged and relegated to the fringes or margins of society, due to various factors like race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability or other characteristics. It then aims to make energy more accessible, affordable, and democratically managed for all communities.

Given the above, corporate and commercial lawyers have an important role to play in promoting energy justice and reshaping the existing energy landscape instead of merely navigating it. They can champion policies that broaden access to clean energy sources, make it more affordable for all, and prioritize environmental responsibility. They can also encourage companies to embrace CSR strategies that prioritize social and environmental considerations, ensuring energy projects are evaluated through that lens. Furthermore, facilitating open dialogue between companies and affected communities is crucial for addressing historical injustices and building trust for a sustainable future. To fully grasp the role of corporate and commercial lawyers in achieving energy justice, this article has been divided into sections and, examines key concepts in energy justice, describes a set of energy justice challenges that corporate and commercial lawyers are uniquely positioned to tackle, and finally, assesses the role of the latter in ensuring energy justice.

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Uche Val Obi

Managing Partner


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