A Right to Energy? Some brief Ethical and Philosophical Notes

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To have a right means to be free from something and to be free to do something; sometimes means also that X must receive something from Y. In this sense, right to energy is a right of access to energy, to its sources, and a right to exploit them. But is there also a right to receive energy? To give an answer is necessary to reflect about the foundation of rights: there are some goods inhering to persons which it is a duty to safeguard, goods to which persons have a right. Now, the most precious human good is dignity and every human right is a consequence of human dignity. So, is the right to energy a human right? Has energy anything to do with human dignity? Energy’s partial or total absence does not undermine human dignity directly, but in the absence of energy it becomes much more complicated to find a way to guarantee the fundamental rights that are directly tied to human dignity. The State has some duties, particularly the duty to promote human dignity and the development of a country. So, what are the duties of the State about energy? Given the almost direct connection between human dignity and access to energy and given that the goal of the State is to promote human dignity, it follows that the State has the duty to guarantee access to energy by applying fair and reasonable tariffs for the supply of energy, instituting subsidised tariffs for disadvantaged individuals, monitoring energy prices and the production of energy, developing infrastructures and ensuring that the infrastructures guarantee an adequate distribution and to check on their efficiency.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteAccess to Energy. Focus on Africa
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012


  • energy
  • human dignity
  • right


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