Published: Oct. 25, 2016

We inhabit a world in which 1.3 to 2.5 billion people are considered “energy poor”—having little or no access to clean energy for cooking, lighting, drinking water, and appliances to relieve the onerous manual labor demanded particularly of women and children in developing countries. Should we look to the law to offer answers to global problems of energy and poverty?

University of Colorado Law School Professor Lakshman Guruswamy would answer yes. His research and scholarship explore the pivotal role of justice in obtaining practical solutions for energy poverty in the “other third” of the world, where a lack of access to basic clean and affordable energy results in the premature deaths of millions, primarily among women and children, and leaves millions more sick.

On October 28, 2016, Guruswamy will discuss this topic in a keynote address entitled "Global Energy Justice: Poverty & Women" at the University of Iowa’s Journal of Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems Symposium, held at the University of Iowa College of Law.  

Guruswamy, a nationally and internationally recognized expert in international environmental and global energy law, has written and lectured extensively on the areas of energy, poverty, and socio-environmental justice. In 2016, he authored and edited two books on the subject: International Energy and Poverty: The Emerging Contours (Routledge, 2016), and Global Energy Justice: Law and Policy (West, 2016). The fifth edition of International Environmental Law in a Nutshell (West) is due in 2017.

Over the summer, Guruswamy won the 2016 Senior Scholarship award from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law. Granted annually to one scholar, this prestigious, international award recognizes demonstrated achievement in publications, scholarly activities, and other innovations that advance research in environmental law.

Lakshman Guruswamy, born in Sri Lanka, is the Nicholas Doman Professor of International Environmental Law at the University of Colorado Law School. He is the director of international energy programs at the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment, where he also serves on the board of directors.