Central park building, plants growing on side of building

Making the new energy system fair

A discussion of how we can build a new energy system that is fair to all, and what a progressive energy system might look like.

There are so many questions and variables still unknown when it comes to creating a new energy system. What conceptual framework should we be reaching for in trying to build a renewable energy system that is fair? What are the opportunities that exist for democratising the ownership and control of energy generation in the shift to a new system based on renewables? What might a policy for fair access to green public space look like?

Most importantly, what might a genuinely ‘progressive energy’ system look like, that takes into account differences in citizens’ ‘capacity to cope’ with extreme weather, and takes into account the double penalty suffered by poorer Australians who tend to live in areas afflicted by more extreme temperatures and must pay a larger proportion of their incomes to cool their homes? And how could representation on energy boards be shared around? 

This event was held at the University of Sydney on Monday 2 July 2018.

The Speakers:

  • Dr Amanda Cahill is the CEO of The Next Economy. Originally trained in Anthropology, she has spent over two decades working with communities across Australia, Asia and the Pacific on projects designed to develop more equitable and sustainable local economies. Over the last few years she has been working with coal and gas affected communities in Australia to develop economic transition plans that will move Australia closer to zero emissions in socially just ways. Amanda has a PhD in Human Geography from the Australian National University, an Adjunct Lecturer position at the University of Queensland and also helped found the New Economy Network of Australia.
  • Godfrey Moase is the Assistant General Branch Secretary at the National Union of Workers in Melbourne, Australia and is co-founder of Cooperative Power Australia. He’s previously written for the Guardian, Overland, Jacobin, Griffith Review, and New Matilda. On Twitter he’s @gemoase.

  • Maria Cirillo enjoys organising, campaigning and advocacy, and has developed skills in these fields during her 17 year career working in public sector unions at both state and federal levels. Maria sees local, community centred organising as the foundation for winning. Maria has led a variety of campaigns having first earned her stripes on campaigns for breastfeeding rights at work and recognition of domestic and family violence as a workplace issue. Living on the sunniest continent on earth, Maria believes solar is the common sense pathway for Australia’s energy future.

  • Professor Christopher Wright (chair) is Professor of Organisational Studies and a member of the Discipline of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Sydney Business School. His research explores organizational and societal responses to climate change, with particular reference to how managers and business organizations interpret and respond to the climate crisis. He has published on this topic in relation to issues of corporate citizenship, emotionology, organizational justification and compromise, risk, identity and future imaginings. He is the author of the book Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction (Cambridge Uni Press, 2015).

This event was part three of the Living in a Warming World series convened by Dr Frances Flanagan.

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