Energy transition from the alter-globalist perspective

Association pour la Taxation des Transactions financières et l’Aide aux Citoyens (Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions and Aid to Citizens – ATTAC)

Maxime Combes, May 2013

Document extracted from the Resource website of social and solidarity economy -

Although it is now very widely used, the term ‘energy transition’ is seldom specified. As if ‘transition’, literally the passage from one state to another, sufficed in itself and could define policy making.

The current energy transition, led in a ‘business as usual’ mode aimed at maintaining as long as possible an unsustainable model, consists in mobilizing all means available to find substitutes for conventional oil. As a result, there is an extractive frenzy directed to nonconventional hydrocarbons and a massive deployment of agro-fuels, which severely jeopardises any possibility of stabilising the climate and of meeting the food needs of the whole of the world population. Added to these are the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, deeply uneven access to energy, climate challenges and ecological catastrophes generated by the unrestrained use of fossil energies, setting the stage for the debate on the future of global energy.

This document offers seven principles as leads for action that should guide policy making, research and practices for an energy transition towards ecological models that are fair, interdependent and democratic.

The general proposition consists in asserting that energy must become a common good, a commons to be taken care of collectively and democratically, with regulation mechanisms that can be found outside the market, as well as outside of government. Practising the commons and promoting them, building the resilience of our territories and of populations, experimenting, innovating, in an inextricable mix of scientific knowledge, know-how, common knowledge and citizens’ needs, are all leads to a true ecological, social and democratic transition.

Facing climate deregulation, the depletion of non-renewable resources, as well as the social, cultural and economic transformations caused by the transitions that need to be implemented will require the involvement of everyone among us, and citizens’ collective reappropriation of our energy future.

Attachment is in original version in french.

telechargement transition-energetique-attac.pdf (91 KiB)


Resource website of social and solidarity economy -