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Publications (2)

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Preparing a public pathway

Why, in a world awash with “idle capital” and in desperate need of a just energy transition to a renewables-based system, are global investment levels in renewable energy so out of sync with climate targets? The previous TUED Working Paper #9, Energy Transition: Are We Winning?, raised in passing the serious investment deficit in renewable energy, in the context of a broader examination of overall trends in the global energy system and greenhouse gas emissions. This paper looks at the investment question directly and in detail.


Energy Transition: Are We ‘Winning’?

In this ninth TUED working paper, authors Sean Sweeney and John Treat document the recent claims of the optimistic, “green growth” narrative; examine the evidence frequently used to legitimize and sustain it; and then consider this evidence in context of the broader trends in the global energy system, drawing on a range of major recent data sources. What the paper’s analysis shows is that, unfortunately, the world is not “moving away from fossil fuels”; far from it. The recent “we are winning” optimism 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.