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Spark is an independent online platform dedicated to boldly analysing and exploring the energy transition through a feminist and human rights lens.

Amid the multiple challenges posed by the climate emergency and the imperative to ensure high-quality, accessible, adequate, and sustainable energy services for all, this blog provides a space to rethink what constitutes transformative and effective ways to power our economies and societies.

Through written contributions that foster the exchange of ideas among activists, experts, frontline community members, and academics, we will collectively illuminate the systemic issues affecting current energy systems and spark discussions on energy alternatives that can enable a just, feminist, and rights-based transition to a sustainable future.

Public Ownership and Energy Democracy: Struggles for a Feminist Transition

Lavinia Steinfort, TNI

A feminist energy transition is one that works for everyone. Clearly, that is more easily said than done. Public services including energy supply have been under attack for decades. People have become used to price hikes, job cuts, reduced quality and ultimately, a break-down of the social fabric.  Many people have lost sight of the fact that energy is a fundamental right on which human and other life depends, rather than a commodity for profit. How can public ownership and energy democracy offer a way out? 

For-profit economics, underpinning virtually every energy privatisation and market liberalisation around the world, is the biggest barrier to putting the rallying cries for climate action and system change into practice. For as long as energy - and the energy transition alike - is something to be profited from, the rush for fossil fuels alongside renewables will continue to result in an ever expanding energy mix, both in terms of production and consumption. 

Lavinia Steinfort

Lavinia Steinfort is a democratic socialist feminist with a BA in cultural anthropology and an MA in human geography. At the Transnational Institute (TNI) she coordinates the Public Alternatives project. Her research covers (re)municipalisation of public services, a just transition towards energy democracy and transforming finance for the 99% with the aim of coalition building across social movement groups. Lavinia's publications range from (2023) Progressive Public Procurement Toolkit, (2023) Energy Transition Mythbusters and (2020) The Future is Public: Towards Democratic Ownership of Public Services to (2019) Public Finance for the Future We Want and (2018) One Treaty to rule them all about the Energy Charter Treaty.

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Spark is committed to connecting and sharing diverse voices from all fields, backgrounds, genders, and regions. We invite anyone interested in energy justice to contribute their experiences, ideas, and knowledge by submitting an article of up to 1,500 words.

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