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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2013
10:00 AM

CONTACT: Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth International media line: +31-6-5100 5630 (Dutch mobile) or email: media@foei.org

Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator: +44-7912 40 65 10 (UK mobile), or email sarah.clifton@foe.co.uk

Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator: +258 840 356 599 (Mozambique mobile) or email dipti@foei.org

Jagoda Munic, chairperson of Friends of the Earth International: +385 98 17 95 690 (Croatian mobile number) or email jagoda@zelena-akcija.hr

Energy Road-Map Offers Hope for Climate-Safe Planet

WARSAW, POLAND - November 7 - Today, ahead of United Nations climate talks where governments will discuss the world's energy system, Friends of the Earth International has released a new report outlining its vision of a climate-safe, sustainable and just energy system - and a road map to achieving it. [1]

The report, 'Good Energy, Bad Energy: Transforming the Energy System for People and the Planet' makes the case for the urgent transformation of our energy system and comes in the wake of stark warnings by the world's leading scientists about the scale of the planetary emergency and the threat of runaway climate change unless we take immediate action.

“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.

"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,” she added.

“The world’s current energy system is driving climate change and many other social and environmental problems, from land grabbing, pollution, deforestation and the destruction of ecosystems, to human rights abuses, health problems, premature deaths, unsafe jobs and the collapse of local economies," said Sarah-Jayne Clifton, International coordinator of the Climate Justice and Energy programme.

"Fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas are the biggest problem, but nuclear power, agrofuels, mega dams and incinerators are as bad as, and sometimes even more destructive, than fossil fuels,” she added.

The new report examines the drivers of the current energy system and the destructive impacts of the energy sources on which the world currently depends.

It also looks at the risks and pitfalls of the much-needed rapid transition to renewable energy, and how these risks can be avoided, and sets out priority policies to drive forward the energy transition.

“Many communities are fighting for a just and sustainable energy system through local campaigns and struggles. All of these struggles are about living, building and embodying the world we want to see. Our task now is to challenge corporate power and exert real democratic control over our energy policies so that we can lend real muscle to these grassroots initiatives and accelerate the transition to a just, climate-safe, people-centred climate system,” said Jagoda Munic, chairperson of Friends of the Earth International.

Friends of the Earth International is part of a global alliance of movements, networks and NGOs that have come together under the banner ‘Reclaim Power’ to raise public awareness about energy issues and climate change and fight for a new energy system. From 11 October to 11 November, these groups joined forces in a global month of action on energy. [2]

SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE REPORT:

Destructive energy sources:

The main fossil fuel-based energy sources on which the world is currently reliant (oil, gas and coal), and other energy sources that are misleadingly put forward as ‘clean’ alternatives (nuclear power, industrial agrofuels and biomass, mega hydroelectric dams and waste to-energy incineration) all have major destructive consequences for people, communities, the environment and the climate.

Who benefits, who pays?

Overall the vast majority of people are harmed, exploited or excluded by the current system, while a small minority take all the benefits. Groups that especially benefit from the current system include the senior executives and financiers of dirty energy companies and energy-intensive industries, and wealthy people who can afford energy. The people who pay the biggest price are people in the global South and rural communities everywhere who live in the places where most of our energy comes from, people in poverty who can’t afford or access energy, and the ordinary workers in dirty energy industries whose jobs are often unsafe, insecure and poorly paid.

What needs to change? Key steps to transform the energy system include:

- Urgent investment in locally-appropriate, climate safe, affordable and low impact energy for all.
- Reducing energy dependence so that people don’t need much energy to meet basic needs and live a good life.
- An end to new destructive energy projects and the phase out of 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.

The report concludes that to make the transition happen requires a challenge to corporate power and the exertion of real democratic control over energy so that the needs and interests of ordinary people and the planet take priority over private profit.

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.



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