A Just Recovery renewable Energy Plan for Africa

There is no justice when nearly 800 million people in the world (nearly 600 million of these being from Africa) do not have access to electricity.

Under the current global energy system, the way we produce, distribute and consume energy is unsustainable, unjust and harming to communities, workers, the environment and the climate. This is fundamentally an issue of corporate and elite interests outweighing the rights of ordinary citizens and communities. The pursuit of 100% people-powered renewable energy is based on the following principles adapted from previous reports of Friends of the Earth International:

1. System change! People power now!

System change means building alternatives to replace the current system, not simply trying to fix it. The way we manage, extract, use and distribute the Earth’s natural resources under the current dominant economic model has put us on a path towards ecological and social crises. We need system change – a new model of environmental, social, political, economic and gender justice – and we need to build the power of the peoples.

2. Energy as a common good

Everyone should have the right to energy. It should be a common good and not a commodity. The sun and the wind are shared resources that should not be exploited for corporate gain. Our energy system should not be run for profit but should exist to meet the needs of the peoples.

3. Energy suffiency for all

This means sufficient universal energy access at a level that respects everyone’s right to a dignified life. It also means an end to energy waste, through energy efficiency and energy saving, and an end to overconsumption by corporates and elites – those who currently hold the economic, political and social power.

4. Finance for the energy revolution

Countries must make their contribution to the climate effort in line with their fair share and the principles of equity, justice, and repayment of the climate debt.

5. 100% Renewable energy for all

The need for a global transformation to a renewable energy system is urgent and must go hand-in-hand with a managed but rapid phase-out of fossil fuels and extractive projects, and a total ban on any new dirty energy projects such as fossil fuels, nuclear, mega dams, industrial agrofuels and biomass, and waste-to-energy incineration.

6. Renewable technology that is climate resilient, locally appropriate & low-impact.

Renewable energy should be as small-scale and decentralised as possible, and all communities should have access to technology, knowledge and skills. Our energy system should protect biodiversity, strengthen the land rights of communities and Indigenous Peoples and should not lead to exploitation of workers in the production chain.

7. Energy sovereignity & energy democracy

Energy production and use should be owned and controlled by the people, for the people. The voices of women and those who are vulnerable or marginalised should particularly be heard. Communities should have free, prior and informed consent, the right to justice and also rights of redress.

8. A just transition which protects the rights of energy sector workers, their communities & their livelihoods

Workers and communities must have control over decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods. This means that workers must have a say in the future of our energy system, and also with regards to our food system, and the management of nature and our territories.

9. That peoples-centred renewable energy is allowed to flourish, & that obstacles to progress are removed

Under the right political and economic conditions, the peoples-led energy revolution will flourish. Favourable policies and incentives must be decided by peoples and communities,and should go handin-hand with an end to subsidies and incentives for dirty and harmful energy. This also means an end to false solutions, a rejection of geo-engineering and the dismantling of harmful trade agreements which hinder peoples’ climate solutions.

10. A climate-just world that is free from patriarchy & all systems of oppression, domination & inequality

There can be no climate justice without social justice. We must work for a future free from unequal power relations, where humans live in harmony with each other as well as with nature. This means a world free from injustice, discrimination, racism, sexism, classism, Islamophobia, militarism, LGBTQ-phobia and all other forms of structural and economic oppression.

Friends of the earth africa is a collective of sovereign organisations working with grassroots communities on environmental and rights-based struggles in the African region. We seek to contribute to the strengthening of national groups in Africa by developing collective strategies to understand, expose and dismantle the root causes for the overlapping crises we are facing in the region. Through continent-wide coordination, FoE Africa works to build people power towards a common African agenda for environmental, economic, gender, and social justice.

Excerpt of: A Just Recovery renewable Energy Plan for Africa, by Friends of the Earth Africa

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