School of Cities / Event

Knowledge Café: Addressing energy poverty with climate action

Energy inequity is an urgent public health issue and climate issue. Energy poverty – broadly understood as the lack of adequate energy services to provide basic needs – has a range of social and health impacts and has been linked to health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and respiratory conditions. Energy retrofits for homes can address energy poverty by reducing energy waste, reducing monthly household bills, and improving thermal comfort while, at the same time, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, energy retrofits can also worsen energy poverty if they are implemented solely to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions without considering energy inequities. This talk will focus on Dr. Tozer’s recent work on how to catalyze equity-oriented energy transitions. She will present qualitative community-based and policy-engaged research on how energy retrofit programs can play a role in effectively addressing energy poverty in Canada and on orienting policy using a vulnerability-based approach to address the determinants of energy poverty while working towards a livable climate.

About the speaker

Laura Tozer is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Laura directs the IMPACT Lab which is a community-based and policy-engaged research group focused on environmental politics and governance to address climate change. She has researched the planning and implementation of just, zero carbon, and resilient transitions in cities; the politics of transnational urban climate governance; and justice in the transition to renewable energy.