Gender vulnerabilities in low-carbon energy transitions: A conceptual review

Ayesha Sadiqua, Tiia Sahrakorpi*, Ilkka Keppo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
135 Downloads (Pure)


Low carbon energy transitions are of paramount importance to achieve climate goals. These transitions are not only technical and economical, but also deeply social and gendered. In this paper, we reviewed the academic literature to understand: firstly, what gender vulnerabilities have been discussed in the literature and how they have been embedded in structural dynamics. Secondly, what socio-cultural and socio-economic drivers may lead to these gendered vulnerabilities? Based on content analysis, four key themes emerged from this literature survey: land use change, gender-neutral energy policies, access to resources, and green practices, gender, and culture. These four themes indicate that there are several enabling mechanisms arising from social and structural inequalities, indicative that vulnerabilities ought not to be considered in isolation, but in relationship with others. We also explored dimensions of vulnerability (exposure, sensitivity, adaptative capacity) based on Carley et al (2018 Nat. Energy 3 621-7) to contextualise components of vulnerability in relation to gender. The main finding suggests considering further intersectional approaches to low carbon energy transitions, emphasising acknowledging, and lessening societal inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043004
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • Gender
  • Vulnerabilities
  • Low-carbon energy transitions
  • Conceptual literature review
  • Land-use
  • Policies


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