Energy Democracy is a shift from the corporate, centralized fossil fuel economy to one that is governed by communities; designed on the principle of no harm to the environment; that will support local economies; and contributes to health and well-being all peoples.
Energy Democracy will require transformation of the politics and economics that created the fossil fuel energy system we have today, and is a long-term project. Yet, because of the urgency of climate change and other environmental threats, as well as the harms being imposed on peoples in the U.S. and globally as a result of the fossil fuel energy regime, there is a critical need to act now.
Energy Democracy promotes an agenda that incorporates both immediate and longer-term strategies that will guide us toward achieving the vision of a true Energy Democracy. These strategies must be designed around several fundamental principles of democracy:
- Human Rights
- Energy as a Commons
- Just Transition
- Energy Use
- Community Governance
- Diversity and Scale
- Reclaiming Relationship
- Acknowledge, Act and Repair Historical Harms
- Rights of Nature
Today, we are facing the one of the gravest environmental problems in history. The effects of 200 years of the fossil-fuel economy threatens our Earth’s climate and ecosystem, and as a result, will also inflict even more harms on communities around the world. Many of these communities are, and have been for some time, suffering significant costs associated with the extractive energy economy.
Historically, these frontline communities were the first to experience the effects of the exploitation of land, labor and nature that were part of the first phase of fossil-fuel development. Energy Democracy requires the elimination of unsustainable dirty energy toward a new energy economy.
CEED has conducted Energy Democracy trainings and has helped to develop Energy Democracy platforms for national coalitions.