In a new discussion paper released in January by Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED), authors Sean Sweeney and John Treat argue that momentum has not really shifted away from fossil fuels, and the optimistic, “green growth” narrative is overstated. Analysing a wide range of major data sources about the global energy system, the authors conclude that optimism in a clean energy revolution is “misplaced, misleading, and disarming. It must therefore be rejected, and replaced with a more sober perspective that draws hope and confidence not from a selective and self-deceiving interpretation of the data, but from the rising global movement for climate justice and energy democracy, armed with clear programmatic goals and a firm commitment to achieve them.”
The authors of Energy Transition: Are we winning? give credit to unions and activists for their demands to extend public control and social ownership to power generation, and for opening up a global debate about the need for just transition measures. However, they call for the union movement to address its “ambition deficit” towards the deep restructuring of the global economy required for ambitious deployment of renewable energy. Energy systems controlled by ordinary people in partnership with well-run and accountable public agencies are needed to truly move the world away from fossil fuels.