Past Event

Towards a Class-Based Approach to Global Energy Transition

20 September 2016 13:00–14:30

Institute of Development Studies,
Library Road,

Terms such as “energy democracy” and “climate justice” have gained increasingly widespread usage and acceptance over the last 5 years. In order to give weight to these slogans, it is necessary to understand the class relations behind the global energy sector, and the sector’s worldwide division of labour. As a key means of production and consumption in the world-division of labour, the energy sector as a whole, both in the short term and in the long term, are determined (and determinant of) class relations.

The energy sector is already an important site of struggle throughout much of the world. These struggles are likely to intensify in the years ahead. The question of “energy transition” is a central axis of class struggle in the world-economy in the years ahead. Like all class struggle, its outcome is highly uncertain and unpredictable.

About Kolya Abramsky

Kolya Abramsky is a freelance researcher, educator and consultant on the global energy sector. Over 15 years, he has focused on the social relations in the sector, including land, work, ownership and choice of technology.

Formerly, he was the International Energy Officer for the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa; coordinator of the World Wind Energy Institute (Denmark); Visiting International Scholar/winner of Manfred-Heindler Award for Energy and Climate Change Research at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Science, Technology and Society, at the Interuniversity Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture in Austria.

He has edited two books: Sparking a Worldwide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-petrol World, and Restructuring and Resistance: Diverse Voices of Struggle in Western Europe. He has advised policy makers and addressed universities in five continents. He initiated and built, jointly with Focus on the Global South, the website Understanding China’s Energy Landscape. He has a Sociology MA from State University of New York, Binghamton.

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