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Published on:
Monday 29 April 2024

Green Energy and the Global South

Wolfson College Governing Body Fellow Nikita Sud is researching the politics of the climate crisis, particularly in the global South. Her research is focused on Indonesia, India, and China – the world’s largest coal exporter, importer, and producer respectively – with the premise that their ongoing transitions to green energy have planetary implications. For the past two years, Professor Sud has been investigating the impact of the transition to green energy on the Indonesian island of Rempang. 

In her latest article for The ConversationProfessor Sud explores how the impact of the green transition on the residents of the island, which lies just south of the Singapore Strait. As part of a national strategic economic programme, Indonesian officials have outlined plans to build an ‘ecocity’ and solar panel manufacturing facility on Rempang. In order to create the space to carry out the building works, the Indonesian government has proposed that the local islanders relocate to alternative islands, provoking protests which on more than one occasion have turned violent.

“It is easy to understand the fury of those being left behind, or even trodden on, in the global march for greener energy,” writes Professor Sud. “The transition to green energy is reinforcing these long-held hierarchies. Events in Rempang are just the tip of the iceberg, as the poorer areas of the south become suppliers in the world’s energy needs.” The full article is available to read at The Conversation.

Nikita Sud is a Professor at the Oxford Department of International Development in addition to her Fellowship at Wolfson, and was formerly Viceregent of the College. Her research and teaching centres on the politics of development, the sociology and politics of climate change and green energy, and the changing nature of the state in the global South.

Wolfson is proud to support researchers working to tackle the interlinked challenges of the climate crisis and international development, and hosts the Earth Emergency Cluster to promote interdisciplinary collaboration around these issues. Closer to home, the College is now nearing the completion of its award-winning decarbonisation project, which has eliminated fossil fuel use across its site in North Oxford.