International energy law expert to present public lecture on energy justice

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Nov 18, 2014

Lakshman Guruswamy
Lakshman Guruswamy

Internationally renowned law professor Lakshman D. Guruswamy will give a free public lecture at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 20, 2014, in the Law School's Moot Court room on the topic of "energy justice" in the developing world.

Guruswamy is the inaugural Distinguished Scholar in Residence for the Environmental Law Program (ELP) at the William S. Richardson School of Law, located on the UH Mānoa campus.  He is the Nicholas Doman Professor of International Environmental Law and Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Security at the University of Colorado Law School at Boulder.

As a recognized expert in international environmental and energy law, Guruswamy is a frequent speaker at scholarly meetings in the U.S. and around the world.

Said UH Law School ELP Director David Forman, “Professor Guruswamy’s willingness to share his insights with the Law School and community at large has been greatly appreciated.”

Dean Avi Soifer added that having a scholar of Guruswamy’s caliber in residence offers a unique opportunity to law students and the public.  “Professor Guruswamy is unusually friendly and wonderfully approachable as well as deeply knowledgeable, and the entire Law School community has benefitted from his presence," said Soifer.

As part of a two-month guest residency through early December at the Law School, Guruswamy is teaching, offering seminars and mentoring students. He is also finishing two books: Global Energy Justice (forthcoming Foundation/West, 2014) and International Energy & Poverty: The Emerging Contours (forthcoming Routledge, 2015).

Guruswamy’s colloquium talk will delve into the global inequities that prevent the "energy poor" -- more than 2.8 billion people in developing nations in Africa and Asia -- from having access to beneficial energy to meet their basic needs for cooking, heating, water, sanitation, illumination, transportation and basic mechanical power.

“Energy poverty results in millions of premature deaths,” said Guruswamy. “For example, burning polluting energy such as biomass results in 3.5 million deaths every year, primarily of women and children.  Polluted drinking water causes (another) 3.5 million deaths, (again) largely among children. A lack of energy for illumination prevents women and children from studying at night, affects functioning of schools and hospitals, and makes life dangerous after dark.”

Guruswamy argues that there should be a new subject called Energy Justice, and his talk will examine the legal heritage of the idea and its meaning and relevance today.  “In both public and private arenas,” he says, “it is possible to use the concept of energy justice to reshape sustainable development in practical ways that solve the problems of the energy poor.”

ELP asks that those who plan to attend the talk to RSVP to

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