The Global Environmental Health & Energy working group brings together students working on global environmental health, energy access and energy poverty. We aim to create a forum for students to share their own research and writing; to engage in a critical, interdisciplinary way with global health and energy challenges that, by their very nature, are not limited to any particular discipline; and to ignite a research and policy dialogue around an unfortunately understudied global issue.
Three billion people cook and heat their homes with traditional biomass stoves. The consequent household air pollution causes over four million premature deaths annually, a health burden borne largely by the poor in low-income countries. Burning solid fuels also emits some of the most significant contributors to climate change, including carbon dioxide, methane, and “black carbon”, which is already impacting millions by disrupting weather patterns and accelerating glacial melt in vulnerable regions.
As environmental policy researchers, we are acutely aware of the enormity of this household energy challenge but also recognize that it does not exist in isolation. Indeed, at its heart lies the vast energy access hurdle faced by the Global South—and the energy transition that must take place in the developing world is intrinsically linked to challenges related to income and poverty, education, gender imbalances, national-level energy investments, health infrastructure, individual behavioral tendencies, and governance.
Various research and policy initiatives have enabled researchers to coalesce around well-defined, focused sectors (such as global health) but have not yet fully exploited complementarities that exist across disciplines; such silos have, unfortunately, allowed critical environmental health and energy concerns to slip through the cracks, both within and outside academe. We aim to address this.
To join our mailing list for information about weekly meetings and relevant events on campus, contact one of the coordinators.
The Global Environmental Health & Energy working group is sponsored by the Duke University Center for International & Global Studies.