Indigenous cosmologies of energy for a sustainable energy future

Aug 1, 2023

Energy development in Indigenous lands has been historically controversial from socio–ecological and ethical perspectives. Energy-development projects often privilege the knowledge of a narrow group, while, simultaneously, Indigenous knowledge and alternative epistemologies have been understudied in academic energy-access discourses and largely ignored in the planning and implementation of energy interventions. Here university-affiliated academics teamed up with Indigenous scholars and leaders to examine Indigenous perspectives in energy research and practice. We identify three core issues embedded in existing energy-development initiatives: an inconsistent use of the term ‘Indigenous’; a lack of inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and alternative epistemologies in energy-development projects; and a prevalence of inadequate methodological attempts to include such Indigenous knowledge. To enable more symmetric and people-centric sustainable energy interventions, we propose and illustrate a ‘cosmologies of energy’ approach that focuses on learning from Indigenous oral narratives to unpack Indigenous people’s lived experiences, alternative perspectives and associated practices of energy.

Publication details
Theme(s)
Net zero & sustainable development
Type(s)
Research paper
Author(s)
Khosla, Radhika
Year(s)
2023
Nature Energy

Latest news

Job Opening at ONZ: Youth Climate Training Assistant
Job Opening at ONZ: Youth Climate Training Assistant

The Oxford Net Zero Engagement Team (based at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment) is looking for a motivated individual to support the team 8 hours a week for 12 weeks (96 hours in total) in the second delivery of the Youth ... Read more

Onshore geological carbon storage has potential in the UK, but key knowledge and regulatory gaps remain – ONZ report
Onshore geological carbon storage has potential in the UK, but key knowledge and regulatory gaps remain – ONZ report

A new report by a team of Oxford Net Zero researchers reviews the current state of knowledge on onshore geological carbon storage (GCS) and its feasibility in the UK. Read more

Oxford launches revised Offsetting Principles
Oxford launches revised Offsetting Principles

As part of their net zero strategies, many companies, organisations, cities, regions and financial institutions are relying on voluntary carbon credits to offset their residual emissions. But evidence continues to cast doubt on the integrity of ... Read more

See more news and events