A call for urgent action to put an end to dirty energy
Peoples in Asia are among the most threatened by climate change – a crisis induced by unabated fossil fuel use of a global capitalist system’s inexhaustible drive for profit, private wealth and accumulation. This very system pushes us ever deeper in impoverishment and misery. It leaves massive environmental destruction in its wake, increasing our vulnerabilities to the intensifying catastrophic effects of a crisis we did not cause.
Yet, fostering the dirty energy sources that support this system remains high up in the agenda of many states and international financial institutions. Despite avowals of commitment to sustainable development, they persist in meeting the demands of big business for coal, gas, oil and other fossil fuels in the face of incontrovertible evidence of the climate-damaging effects of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels. They continue to enable huge investments to pour into new dirty energy projects especially in South. Leaving renewable energy programs poorly funded, they provide huge handouts and subsidies for dirty energy corporations out of peoples’ money.
Meanwhile, the myth that fossil fuels and its development into “clean energy” will lift us out of poverty spins even more vigorously. But we are painfully aware from our daily struggles of survival that fossil fuel-based economies driven by unhampered growth and private profit have only secured the interests of a handful of corporations and elites. And over time have exacerbated climate change to the level of a planetary emergency that it is today.
In Asia alone, over one billion people suffer deprivation from long-unmet needs for health, food, water and sanitation, education, shelter, sustainable livelihoods and other requirements for a decent life. Energy is a prerequisite to the full enjoyment of these basic rights, but even minimum access to energy that could ease their hardships remains well beyond their reach. Such is the inhumanity of today’s dominant systems that run on dirty energy, where only the wealthy can enjoy adequate lighting for schoolchildren, continuously functioning health services, food storage facilities, affordable drinking water and irrigation supplies, among others.
Winning the fight against dirty energy has never been more urgent, for no less than our survival and our future hang in the balance. The world needs a fundamental transformation of energy systems to put people and planet before profit, 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.
This October, we in APMDD march as part of movements, communities, and people coming together in the collective effort Reclaim Power! to draw global attention to the climate crisis and the urgency of transforming energy systems. From our homes, communities and workplaces, we rally to the call to organize actions and reach out to as many people, communities and movements in as many countries as possible to raise awareness, deepen understanding, and be directly involved.
Let us raise our voices, unfurl our banners, take to the streets in our numbers to Reclaim Power! –
- Stop new dirty energy projects! End public handouts and subsidies to dirty energy! Divest from fossil fuels!
- Redirect funds and pursue a swift and just transition to democratic, pro-poor, renewable & clean energy systems for people & communities! Stop the excessive energy consumption by corporations & elites!
- Address energy poverty and ensure universal energy access for basic needs!
- Advance energy democracy that promotes solutions to the climate crisis, to energy poverty, and to the degradation of both land and people, and upholds workers’ rights and protections!