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Introduction to the energy project

By Molefi, Ndlovu

The aims of the energy project are primarily to dig deeper, to uncover emerging responses to the issue of environmental justice. Through activist research we attempt to continually highlight cutting edge efforts by civil society activists to mitigate these injustices; through advocacy and education and training seminars and workshops as well as facilitating activist research methodologies that are sensitive to the role of activist communities to find participatory approaches to research.

In work by researchers associated with The Centre for Civil Society, the failures of many environmental justice critiques to reach the spheres of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation is well documented.

The primary focus the energy project is the issue of carbon trade and related environmental injustices that flow from these. We are interested in interrogating dominant discourses within international as well as nation-states that guide environmental policies.

Through our CCS energy reader: Trouble in the Air we have been able to profile contemporary critiques against notions endorsed by international institutions such the World Bank, who legitimise trade in toxic waste as a way to deal with industrial waste. Many researchers concurred that these policies perpetuate environmental racism.

We have also strived to re-examine current debates on climate change using practical experiences of struggle by poor communities organising around climate change. Debate is lively on how activist responses should relate to international protocols such as the Kyoto protocol. Interactions in this regard continue to rich and diverse. In all the work, we continue to expose beneficiaries of Carbon trading; big oil companies and multi-national corporations collaborating with imperial agendas of the Bush administration.

We have also tried to keep track with current policy documents and the role they play in legitimizing environmental pollution as a trade incentive. These we contrast with materials developed in activist communities taking on some of these agendas.

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