The concept of a “just transition” to renewable energy has gained popularity in recent years among politicians and corporate leaders. However, this term is often used as a euphemism to mask the negative impacts of the transition on workers. While the idea of a “just transition” sounds promising, the reality is that it is a transition driven by capitalist interests and political control.
The current energy transition is not primarily focused on stopping global warming or protecting the environment. Instead, it is driven by a desire for control over resources, supply chains, and trade exports. The Biden administration and its allies in the UAW are promoting a “just transition,” but in reality, it will only intensify the hardships and exploitation faced by the working class.
Moreover, the United States and the European Union are using the notion of a “just transition” as a pretext for preparing for war with China. The war planners in the Pentagon see defeating China as the defining strategic question of the 21st century. The promotion of electric vehicles in the US and Europe is not about genuinely greening the economy, but rather about maintaining imperial control and confronting China.
It is essential to debunk three main lies surrounding the “just” energy transition. Firstly, despite governments’ claims, the promotion of renewable energy is not sufficient to stop emissions and combat climate change. Fossil fuels still dominate global energy consumption, and the demand for oil is expected to remain high for decades. The push for electric vehicles is not a genuine effort to address climate change, but rather a means to secure control over dwindling oil resources.
Secondly, the US and Europe are concerned about the tightening supply of oil and gas resources, as OPEC holds a significant share of the world’s remaining reserves. The promotion of electric vehicles provides these countries with a degree of relief from volatile oil markets and serves as “green cover” to maintain popular support.
Finally, China’s dominance in EV production and critical minerals poses a threat to US and European control. China controls the production of essential minerals like lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite. By promoting electric vehicles, the US and Europe aim to regain control over these critical resources and undermine China’s power.
In conclusion, the “just transition” to renewable energy is primarily driven by capitalist interests and political control. It is not a meaningful solution to combat climate change or protect workers. Instead, it serves to maintain imperial control and prepare for conflict with China.