Energy is vital to the realization of peoples’ rights, social justice and sustainable economic development. But the world’s dominant energy systems fail to meet the needs of more than 2 billion people around the world and have destructive impacts on the health, livelihoods and environment of many local communities hosting energy projects and infrastructures. Worse, current energy systems have led to one of the gravest challenges humankind face today – climate change, which is already wreaking havoc on the lives of tens of millions of people worldwide and has reached the level of a planetary emergency.
No to Dirty Energy! Yes to Renewable Energy for People and Communities!
The reliance on fossil fuels and the over consumption of energy by elites, corporations, and many individuals in the Global North is the biggest contributor to excessive emissions of greenhouse gases which are warming the planet and causing the climate crisis. Fossil fuel energy includes coal, oil and gas. It includes the use of destructive technologies being used to scale up and increase the extraction of fossil fuels, such as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”, mining, and conventional oil drilling. These are only a few of many fossil fuel extraction methods that have led to the destruction of huge ecosystems.
Dirty and harmful energy also includes the aggressive production and promotion of large-scale agro-fuels at the expense of food and livelihoods, mega-dams and hydro projects that devastate river ecosystems and cause massive environmental damage, dangerous nuclear power, industrial wood-based bioenergy which speeds up forest destruction and land conversion to monoculture plantations, and the toxic burning of waste in incinerators and cement plants. These are being promoted as “clean energy” solutions to climate change.
The world needs a fundamental transformation of energy systems to put people and planet before pro t, to shift as fast as possible away from dirty and harmful energy, to build public and community renewable and clean energy systems, to ensure equitable and universal access to energy, to power systems of production and consumption that are compatible with the limits of the planet. All over the world, people are engaged in long-standing struggles on energy, defending their rights, proving that alternative energy systems are indeed possible.
Reclaim Power and Build Movements!
Reclaim Power is a collective effort to draw global attention to the climate crisis and the urgency of transforming energy systems. It is about taking a moment for movements, communities, people to express and experience global solidarity in our common struggles. It is about organizing actions and reaching out to as many people, communities and movements in as many countries as possible to raise awareness, deepen understanding, and provide opportunities for people to get directly involved.
In 2013, Reclaim Power was launched with a month of 580 actions in 60 countries. In 2014 more than 630 actions were carried out during a week of global mobilizations. In 2015 we mobilised for global days of action on several key dates throughout the year including in Paris around COP21.
This October 2016 Reclaim Power aims again to inspire and mobilize people from all walks of life in many countries for a variety of actions, and continue to contribute to building a powerful global movement for energy transformation. It will build on the momentum generated by the Break Free from Fossil Fuels initiative earlier this year. It will also put a spotlight on the nanciers of fossil fuels and other harmful energies.