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  • Climate justice and energy democracy
February 10, 2020

Climate justice and energy democracy

Our emphasis is where climate and energy meet structural issues of ownership, control, and finance—showing how emerging democratic economy approaches to ownership and finance can further both a just energy transition and the transition to a democratic economy. 

With only a decade left to significantly reorient our economy for a chance to limit global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, there is an urgent need to ramp up the adoption of transformational solutions that go beyond incremental change. We have written extensively about how our political economy—namely through corporate power, unfettered growth, and limitless financial and resource extraction—drives the climate crisis and works to prevent meaningful action. 

Our emphasis is where climate and energy meet structural issues of ownership, control, and finance.

With this sense of emergency in mind, we launched our Climate and Energy Program to accelerate our advocacy for game-changing, systemic interventions that have the structural power to move society away from ecological destruction and toward a reparative, regenerative economy. 

Our team is working to advance four specific areas of work:

  • programs and research to aid communities fighting to take over their energy utilities as a decarbonization strategy; 
  • a growing body of advising on the intersections between climate resilience and community wealth building;
  • a plan to end extraction of fossil fuels through nationalization of the domestic US oil and gas industry; and
  • designs for nonextractive finance that could energize climate action.

Due in part to a spiraling crisis, but also due to our work with many activist and academic allies to marry deep research and effective advocacy, our proposals have begun to move from the margins to the mainstream of the climate and energy conversation. 

February 17, 2020
Wind turbines behind solar panels

Supporting energy democracy through a Green New Deal

Five policy proposals to tackle an extractive economy.

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Green infrastructure Verde

Building Resiliency through Green Infrastructure: A Community Wealth Building Approach

How investments in the green infrastructure needed for climate resiliency can be leveraged to build community wealth with worker cooperatives and social enterprises.

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August 29, 2018
Taking Climate Action to the Next Level

Taking climate action to the next level

For over forty years we have known that avoiding disastrous climate change requires breaking fossil fuels’ hold on our economy and way of life. Yet, throughout all that time, debate, negotiations, and actions have fallen short in triggering, never mind managing, an energy transition. At this pivotal

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September 5, 2018
The Systemic Roadblocks to Climate Action

The Systemic Roadblocks to Climate Action

The challenge of mounting an adequate response to climate change has to be understood within the context of the larger systemic crisis facing the United States. The 1972 Limits to Growth, published when environmental movements were forming in this country, emphatically explained that our economic

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August 30, 2018
Quantitative Easing for the Planet

Quantitative Easing for the Planet

Across the political spectrum, conventional wisdom holds that technology and finance remain the greatest obstacles to moving society beyond fossil fuel dependency. Yet, neither is the real reason why progress on climate action has stalled for decades.

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September 3, 2018
Public Ownership for Energy Democracy

Public Ownership for Energy Democracy

Energy democracy—a new idea from the ranks of community organizers, labor, and renewable energy advocates who see our current energy system as broken and destructive—seeks to take on the political and economic change needed to tackle the energy transition holistically.

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September 3, 2018
An Anchor Strategy for the Energy Transition

An Anchor Strategy for the Energy Transition

While many cities and communities rely on a “smokestack chasing” approach to economic development, others are starting to focus on a new approach to economic development that centers people and place. Instead of measuring growth by just revenue, this approach, coined “community wealth-building,” strengthens the local economy through broader democratic ownership and control of business and jobs.

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September 4, 2018
Introduction - The Green Transition and the Next System

Introduction: The Green Transition and the Next System

When the Global Climate Action Summit convenes in San Francisco on September 12, 2018, one goal will be to affirm that the world beyond the Trumpian miasma is “still in” the Paris Accords. But the Summit seeks also to “demonstrate that stronger commitments are necessary, desirable and achievable.”

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