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Unions and the Struggle for Energy Democracy

An energy transition can only occur if there is a decisive shift in power towards workers, communities and the public energy democracy.

By Sean Sweeney, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and Murphy Institute

Energy democracy is needed’

A transfer of resources, capital and infrastructure from private hands to a democratically controlled public sector will need to occur in order to ensure that a truly sustainable energy system is developed in the decades ahead.

Energy democracy offers perhaps the only feasible route to a new energy system that can:

*Protect workers’ rights and generate decent and stable jobs
*Make Just Transition real
*Be responsive to the needs of communities
*Create an energy system based on environmentally sustainable methods  of energy extraction, transport and use
*First control and then quickly and dramatically reduce emissions and harmful pollution
*Rapidly scale up renewable energy and other low–carbon energy options
*Aggressively promote energy conservation across all sectors
*Make serious progress towards ending energy poverty globally

Resist, Reclaim and Restructure

A trade union strategy for energy democracy can be built around three broad objectives, namely the need to resist the agenda of the fossil fuels corporations; the need to reclaim to the public sphere parts of the energy economy that have been privatized or marketized; and the need to restructure the global energy system in order to massively scale up renewable energy and other safe low –carbon options, implement energy conservation, and ensure job–creation and true sustainability.
Read  the full report on the website of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy: http://unionsforenergydemocracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Resist-Reclaim-Restructure.pdf

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