Energy Scenarios and Justice Towards Future Humans

An Application of the Capabilities Approach to the Case of Swedish Energy Politics

  • Anders Melin Malmö University
  • David Kronlid Uppsala University


Energy production and consumption give rise to issues of justice for future humans. By analysing a specific case – Swedish energy politics – this article contributes to the discussion of how consideration for future humans should affect energy policy making. It outlines three different energy scenarios for the period 2035-2065 – the nuclear-renewables, the renewables-low and the renewables-high scenarios – and assesses them from the point of view of justice for future individuals by using the capabilities approach as a normative framework. We cannot make a definitive assessment of the different scenarios due to the great uncertainties involved in determining the impacts on individuals living between 2035 and 2065 and individuals born thereafter, but we still conclude that we have certain reasons to prefer the renewables-low scenario since it avoids certain risks connected with the other scenarios. The economic growth in this scenario is lower than in the others, but we question whether this is a disadvantage from the point of view of the capabilities approach.

Keywords: energy scenarios, justice, future generations, capabilities approach

Author Biographies

Anders Melin, Malmö University

Senior Lecturer, Dep. of Global Political Studies, Malmö University

David Kronlid, Uppsala University

Associate professor of Ethics, Dep. of Education, Uppsala University

How to Cite
Melin, A., & Kronlid, D. (2019). Energy Scenarios and Justice Towards Future Humans. Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, 13(1), 39-54.
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