Civil society, environmental litigation, and Confucian energy justice: A case study of an environmental NGO in China

Xinxin Wang, Kevin Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study analyzes the role of civil society in China's clean energy transition from the perspective of Confucianism, an influential political-ethical doctrine with over 2000 years of history. An environmental non-governmental organization (ENGO), Friends of Nature (FON), was taken as a case study. FON is a pioneering ENGO in China and has become an influential actor in low-carbon energy transition in the country, primarily through its environmental litigation on energy projects. We argue that FON's legal actions, which focus on the climate and sustainability aspect of energy, are embedded in a Confucian understanding of justice, that is, justice as the pursuit of collective interest rather than the fair treatment of individuals; justice as nature-humanity harmony and the conservation of natural resources for future generation; and justice as an important manifestation of Confucian self-cultivation and a political obligation. This study contributes to the broader energy justice literature by proposing an understanding that goes beyond its Western origin.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102831
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Volume93
Early online date30 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Civil society
  • Confucianism
  • Energy justice
  • Environmental litigation

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