Journal Encyclopedia - Peer-Reviewed Content

Buildings account for nearly 40% of energy use in global contexts and climatic conditions tend to contribute to consumption. Human activities are also influential in energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that lead to global warming. Residential buildings are responsible for a considerable share. There are countries aggravating this situation by heavily relying on fossil fuels. Oil-rich countries are allocating an energy subsidy to the public, making energy cheaper for their consumers. This may result in negative consequences, including households’ inefficient energy use behaviours in countries such as Iran. Beyond the impact of energy subsidy allocation, this study aims to explore the climatic and non-climatic factors that affect the increase in domestic electricity use, particularly in Iran. For this purpose, this study begins with a comparative analysis between countries with and without the energy subsidy to examine the trends in domestic electricity use. Afterwards, the tendency of households’ electricity use in Iran will be analysed in consideration of climatic and non-climatic factors among several provinces in Iran. This study exploited published statistical data for the analysis. The results indicate the tendency of increased domestic electricity use due to the country’s generous subsidy offered to the public as well as climatic and non-climatic factors in Iran. These results may provide an opportunity for future studies regarding building occupants’ inefficient energy use behaviours for policy enactment in Iran and other oil-rich countries.

The relationship between COVID-19 and peace has been considered from a variety of perspectives. In addition, different empirical studies on the link between the pandemic and peace in conflict-affected areas exist. However, little work has been performed on examining these studies to highlight key findings on the theme of COVID-19 and peace in conflict-affected areas. A conflict-affected area is a country, or part of a country, where widespread violence or armed conflict was present when COVID-19 emerged in December 2019, or that was transitioning from recent armed conflict to peace by the time the disease arose. What do we know, so far, about how peace has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in conflict-affected areas? To address this question, this paper begins by recognizing the multidimensionality of peace and clarifying that the main aspects of peace in conflict-affected areas being considered in the article are relations between conflict parties, peace efforts, and peace processes. Afterwards, the paper discusses existing evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 and state responses to it on these components of peace in conflict-affected areas. The conflict-affected areas considered include Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, the Philippines, Yemen, and other zones. The central finding of the article is that the existing studies on COVID-19 and peace in conflict-affected areas present mixed findings. On the one hand, the virus generated opportunities for cooperation between conflict parties in some cases, such as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip of Israel-Palestine. However, on the other hand, it created conditions that enabled conflict and impeded peace efforts and processes in many or most conflict-affected areas. The paper explains that two factors that determined how the disease affected peace in conflict-affected and non-conflict-affected areas are the pre-COVID-19 political and socio-economic conditions in an area, and how state and non-state actors responded to the pandemic. The article closes with a summary of the discussion and identification of its major limitations. 

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