TUED Working Papers
& documents
Reclaim and Restore: Preparing a Public Pathway to Address Energy Poverty and Energy Transition in sub-Saharan Africa
Sean Sweeney
September 2023

This document is a position paper on energy poverty and energy transition developed by trade unions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) active in the TUED South network. 

Because of its pivotal role in shaping and directing energy policy for many decades, the paper is primarily concerned with the policies of the World Bank. The paper explains why the Bank’s current approach to energy poverty and energy transition is not working and why it needs to change. 

The goal of the position paper is to arm the international trade union movement and its allies with the facts. These facts lay bare a policy failure of immense proportions. 

Read in EN // ES // FR // PT // ARA

Towards a Public Pathway Approach to a Just Energy Transition for the Global South
Sean Sweeney
January 2023

This TUED Working Paper was written to inform discussion at the launch of “TUED South” meeting that took place in Nairobi, Kenya, in October 2022. Building on previous TUED Working Papers, the goal of this document was to bring to Nairobi an analysis and a series of broad proposals and considerations that might inform a public pathway alternative to the current neoliberal approach to energy transition and climate protection.
This is the document's second draft; the final document is in the editing process and will be published here when complete.

Read in: Español // Français // Português //عربي // Bahasa Indonesian

Beyond Recovery: The Global Green New Deal and Public Ownership of Energy
Sean Sweeney
August 2023

TUED’s 16th Working Paper examines the ongoing and closely related discussions on the idea of a Global Green New Deal (GGND) and (GPGs).

Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, calls for a GGND and a commitment to GPGs intensified. In July 2020, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared, “The global political and economic system is not delivering on critical global public goods: public health, climate action, sustainable development, peace…we need a New Global Deal to ensure that power, wealth and opportunities are shared more broadly and fairly at the international level.” 

Authored by TUED Coordinator Sean Sweeney, the paper argues that a GGND of the left must distinguish itself from green “recovery economics.” Many North-based progressives are comfortable talking about the need for “more public investment,” and the need for “ambitious climate action” but many continue to be vague or agnostic on questions of public ownership and control. 

Read in EN // ES // FR // PT // ARA

True Colors: What Role Can Hydrogen Play in the Transition to a Low-Carbon Future?
John Treat
April 2022

In the newest Working Paper of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, John Treat dives deeply into the conversations around hydrogen. Treat explains the entire rainbow of colors of hydrogen, their applications and potential, and then explains why comprehensive public ownership needs to be a prerequisite before any of these conversations.

Treat continues the TUED analysis around public ownership for unions and extends it into the hydrogen conversations. We hope this analysis assists unions in understanding the key topics and conversations around a really heated debate.

Beyond Disruption: How Reclaimed Utilities Can Help Cities Meet Their Climate Goals
Sean Sweeney and John Treat
November 2021

In TUED Working Paper 14, Beyond Disruption: How Reclaimed Utilities Can Help Cities Meet Their Climate Goals, Sean Sweeney and John Treat showcase how the energy transition that was promised has yet to come to fruition. They argue specifically the arguments around cities leading the transition have not been fully accurate and provide a sober analysis of where we stand.

Transition in Trouble? The Rise and Fall of “Community Energy” in Europe
Sean Sweeney, John Treat and Irene HongPing Shen
March 2020

Despite the hopes of many allies in the struggle for energy democracy, efforts to advance local and community ownership of energy have remained mostly on the margins of global energy systems, and have so far proven unable to rise to the challenges involved in the energy transition. In this thirteenth TUED Working Paper, we trace the background, policy context and data showing why these hopes may have been misplaced, and argue that only a comprehensive reclaiming of energy systems to true public ownership seems likely to allow us to meet the enormous challenges ahead.