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Environment & Energy

stories

BRESCO protest

The nation’s first “fair development” zero waste plan 

In a south Baltimore neighborhood, a powerful, youth-led coalition helped spearhead the first Zero Waste Plan developed by and for U.S. grassroots communities that want to transition from an economy of extraction to one of reuse and regeneration. read more
Oil well

The movement to nationalize the fossil fuel industry: a timeline

An interactive timeline chronicles key moments in the movement to advance the nationalization of the fossil fuel industry, which would enable a managed just transition to renewable energy. read more
Green stimulus

Let the people design a green stimulus

Public spending that puts people back to work building the infrastructure we need is a well-intentioned policy. But this time the infrastructure spending must be green—and all of us have to be in on the decision-making.  read more
Earth Day at 50

Earth Day at 50: The movement’s past in dialogue with its future

Gus Speth was active in the first Earth Day 50 years ago. Dulce Arias is a climate activist prepared to take the movement 50 years into the future. Together in The Next System Podcast they assess the successes and failures of the past and how a new generation is applying those lessons in an era of climate crisis. read more

videos

Gus Speth speaking

Gus Speth delivers the 2016 David Sive Annual Memorial Lecture at Columbia Law School

Watch Co-Chair of the Next System Project Gus Speth give the David Sive Annual Memorial Lecture at the Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change. read more
"We Need An Alternative", on top of an image of a factory.

Toward Democratic Eco-Socialism

Social systems, whether they exist at the local, regional, or global levels, do not last forever. Capitalism, as a globalizing political economic system committed to profit making and continual economic growth, has created a treadmill of production and consumption that is heavily dependent upon fossil fuels and has resulted in greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. read more
Metamapping the ecosystem building the next economy

Webinar: Mapping the Next System

Watch a group of panelists, moderated by Co-chair of the Next System Project Gus Speth, discuss the linkages and intersections of the movement for a New Economy. read more
A large group of people celebrating a solar array

What is Energy Democracy and Why Does It Matter? [Webinar]

We co-hosted this online panel with the New Economy Coalition for New Economy Week 2015, featuring speakers from the Institute for Policy Studies, Emerald Cities Cooperative, PUSH Buffalo, and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. read more

collections

Lots of elements of a community powered by sustainable energy: solar, wind, and more.

Building Community Capacity for Energy Democracy: A Deck of Strategies

Energy democracy is the simple idea that the transition we urgently need to clean, renewable sources of energy should be accomplished hand-in-hand with the expansion of a more equitable economy and of a more participatory democracy. read more
Lots of elements of a community powered by sustainable energy: solar, wind, and more.

La Democracia Energética: Una Baraja de Cartas

La democracia energética es la sencilla idea de que la transición a fuentes de energía renovables, que tan urgentemente necesitamos, debería ir de la mano con la expansión de una economía más equitativa y de una democracia más participativa. read more
Signs carried by marchers reading "El Pueblo Unido" and "United for Jobs Justice and Climate"

Taking climate action to the next level

Real climate leadership means changing the system in ways that get to the root causes of climate change and other societal ills. Three groundbreaking and complementary interventions could transform the power structures that promote and enable our problematic energy and political-economic systems: quantitative easing for the planet, public ownership for energy democracy, and anchor strategies for the energy transition. read more
Energy democracy panel RG

Supporting energy democracy through a Green New Deal

To achieve the dual mission of decarbonizing our energy use and addressing economic inequity, the Green New Deal must invest in an energy future based on democratic governance and community control. Here is a suite of policy tools essential to that mission. read more

reports

Out of time

Out of Time: The case for nationalizing the fossil fuel industry

With oil prices collapsing and firms’ market values plunging, the government can once again use a policy weapon that has in the past been successful in overcoming social and economic unrest. read more
The case for public ownership of the fossil fuel industry

The case for public ownership of the fossil fuel industry

Instead of bailing out the fossil fuel industry in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the U.S. government should assert long-term ownership and control of the industry to ensure an eventual managed phase-out of coal, oil, and gas production. read more
Energy democracy: Coal to wind

Energy democracy: taking back power

A comparative analysis of the ability of investor-owned and publicly owned utilities to achieve the conditions for energy democracy. read more
Two oil wells, one belching smoke and fire.

The Systemic Roadblocks to Climate Action

As the ecological rift widens, we must recognize the three interconnected imperatives of the current system that both push us toward climate catastrophe and prevent meaningful action—the unrelenting pressure for economic growth, the outsized power of corporations, and the United States’ extractive approach to resource use. read more