Intersecting Inequities in Energy Consumption, Decent Living Standards, and Risk of Climate Change


WIC Online Colloquium:
Setu Pelz, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Intersecting Inequities in Energy Consumption, Decent Living Standards, and Risk of Climate Change Exposure in Ghana, India, and Brazil

Literature linking residential energy consumption, human development and climate change risk is growing but is largely concentrated at the aggregate level. We combine consumer expenditure microdata for two time periods from Brazil (2002/2017), Ghana (2005/2017) and India (2004/2011) with a spatial climate exposure

dataset (SSP2, 1.5dC, 2030) to identify intersecting inequities across the income distribution and across space. We first describe the dual challenge of energy access and affordability among poorer households and extend this analysis to include private mobility, identifying dramatic and consistent shifts towards private mobility fossil fuel consumption among the upper deciles. Second, we operationalize the decent living standards, a multi-dimensional measure of human wellbeing, across the income deciles. This highlights the strength of this framework in identifying deprivations among poorer households using standard publicly available microdata. Thirdly, we link achievement of decent living standards with climate risk, identifying both spatially and by income level an acutely vulnerable population requiring climate adaptation policy support.

About the presenter:

Setu Pelz joined IIASA in 2022 as a research scholar in the Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) Program. He works on the analysis and modeling of energy poverty, access, demand, and transitions, with a particular focus on regions of the Global South and vulnerable communities globally. Prior to joining IIASA, Pelz pursued his PhD with the

Department of Energy and Environmental Management at Europa Universitat Flensburg, Germany. His research interests include energy access, just transitions, and sustainable development.

This work was awarded with the poster award at the Wittgenstein Centre Conference 2022 – The Defining Relationship of the 21st Century.


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