Social organizations refer the need for popular energy transition in the Amazon

During seminar, part of the Amazon Dialogues programme, representatives of the MAB and of different popular organizations of the region defended a profound change in the structures that control energy issues in the country

Seminar gathered members of Amazonian social movements, unions and partisan organizations.  Photo: Roger Braga / MAB

Last Sunday afternoon, August 6th, the city of Belém (PA), hosted National Seminar “Challenges of the Popular Energy Transition in the Amazon”, organized by the Workers and Peasants’ Platform for Water and Energy (POCAE). The seminar is one of the Amazon Dialogues activities, which precede the programme of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization’s (OTCA) Summit, gathering head of States of Amazon countries in the capital of Pará.

The event’s main goal was to question the energy model in place and propose a popular project. The table had participants Daniel Gaia (CUT), Padre Dário Bosi (Repam), Guilherme Carvalho (FASE), Elisa Estronioli (MAB), Raimundo Bonfim (CMP), Tito (MST), Maria José (CONAQ), Diva Sousa (MCP), Leila Denise (MPA) and Carlos Augusto (Contag).

The speakers pointed out the need for engagement form the working class in the energy agenda. “It is necessary that the theme of energy transition be for the people, for the workers”, evaluated Daniel Gaia.

Guilherme Carvalho, of FASE, showed how the energy transition in the mould of transnational capital deepens socio-environmental conflicts, especially in the Amazon since it promotes a race for minerals and other strategic resources.  “The Amazon rainforest cannot be the sum of sacrifice to solve capitalism’s problems”, he stated.

At the end of the seminar, a summary of the debates was made, gathered in the document “Nossa posição frente aos desafios da transição energética popular na Amazônia” (our position faced with the challenges of popular energy transition in the Amazon). “We fight for change from fossil fuels into renewable ones, with fewer greenhouse effect gases, however, changing the production technology (matrix) is not enough.  A profound change in the unjust power and domination structures in energy issues is necessary for us to have a fair reorganization of the production, control of national riches and adequate environmental sustainability”, the document shows.

During the event, the MAB also presented a concrete experience of generation of renewable energy with popular protagonism, the Veredas Sol e Lares project, based in Vale do Jequitinhonha (MG). “The idea for this project emerged due to the high electricity tariffs paid by the local population. Today, more than 5 thousand people are involved in this initiative, especially women, and 1250 families were benefited with reduction in their electricity bill”, said Joyce, MAB militant in Minas Gerais, who presented a scale model of the project.

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