Good Energy, Bad Energy: Reclaiming People's Power


A new report, 'Good Energy, Bad Energy: Transforming the Energy System for People and the Planet,' makes the case for the urgent transformation of the global energy system but says that in order to achieve the necessary change a complete democratic upheaval must also take place.

In the context of continuous and stark warnings by the world's leading scientists about the scale of the planetary emergency of climate change, the report calls for immediate and fundamental changes.

“Averting the worst consequences of climate change requires an urgent and drastic reduction of the greenhouse gases emitted by our energy system. This will not happen unless we stop dirty energy corporations and the destructive energy sources and false solutions they are peddling," said Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International coordinator of the Climate Justice and Energy Programme.


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She added: "This is fundamentally an issue of changing the balance of power: of stopping corporate and elite interests outweighing the power of ordinary citizens and communities."

Among the report's key pronouncements:

Key points

  • Our current energy system is unsustainable, unjust, and harming communities, workers, the environment and the climate.  This is fundamentally an issue of power: of corporate and elite power and interests outweighing the power of ordinary citizens and communities.

  • The destructive energy sources on which the world current relies are driving climate change and many social and environmental problems and conflicts, including land grabbing, pollution, deforestation and the destruction of ecosystems, human rights abuses, health problems and premature deaths, and unsafe, insecure jobs and the rupture and collapse of local economies.
  • Friends of the Earth International believes that it is possible to build a climate-safe, just and sustainable energy system which ensures the basic right to energy for everyone and respects the rights and different ways of life of communities around the world.  To get there we need to challenge corporate power and exert real democratic control over the energy decisions of our governments.
  • We urgently need to invest in locally-appropriate, climate-safe, affordable and low impact energy for all, and reduce energy dependence so that people don’t need much energy to meet their basic needs and live a good life.
  • We need to end new destructive energy projects and phase out existing destructive energy sources, all the while ensuring that the rights of affected communities and workers are respected and that their needs are provided for during the transition.
  • To make the transition happen we also need to tackle the trade and investment rules that prioritise corporations' needs over those of people and the environment.
  • Our vision is guided by an idea called energy sovereignty.  This is the right of people to have access to energy, and to choose sustainable energy sources and sustainable consumption patterns that will lead them towards sustainable societies.


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