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Environmental federation Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) has released a new report called “Good Energy, Bad Energy: Transforming our energy system for people and the planet” just before the start of the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on Monday in Warsaw, Poland.
The report, which was launched through a press release on Friday, underlines the importance of a just, sustainable, climate-safe energy system, in the wake of 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. It also proposes a roadmap to achieve this new energy system.
“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 co-coordinator of the Climate Justice and Energy Programme.
Bhatnagar believes it is fundamentally an issue of changing the balance of power: of stopping corporate and elite interests outweighing the power of ordinary citizens and communities.
The new FoEI report explains that “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”.
At the same time, the vast majority of people are harmed, exploited or excluded by the current energy system based on dirty fuels while a small minority take all the benefits, such as the senior executives and financiers of dirty energy companies and energy-intensive industries, and wealthy people who can afford energy.
The environmental federation believes the following key steps need to be taken to transform the energy system:
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”.
International co-coordinator of the Climate Justice and Energy programme, Sarah-Jayne Clifton, said “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."
Friends of the Earth International chair, Jagoda Munic, said “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”.
To download the full report or read a summary, please visit: http://www.goodenergybadenergy.org
Imagen: Friends of the Earth International
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