Barcelona, March 22, World Water Day – Confronted with the failings of water privatisation, cities and citizens of Terrassa and Barcelona, in Catalonia, have moved to return water services to public and democratic control, improving their quality and accessibility.
While water privatisation continues to be imposed throughout the world, particularly in the Global South, more and more communities are demanding public management of water and wastewater services and forcing out private actors. On World Water Day we bring you 10 inspiring stories of communities and cities working to reclaim control over this essential resource.
Spain maybe on the edge of a remunicipalisation renaissance, with all the relevant legal, financial and technical issues attracting surprisingly intense interest throughout the state. These trends in Spain provide inspiring examples for other countries too, in Europe and worldwide. On 1st December Barcelona City Council organised a remarkable conference on the topic.
Residents of the Dutch city of Groningen, where gas is being extracted by the Dutch Petroleum Company (NAM), have lost confidence in the company, and in the regulations intended to protect them. Social movements, civil society organisations and local political parties gathered and discussed the dismantling of the NAM and the need to democratise the energy sector.
Mayo Fuster Morell, responsible for BarCola, a group working on collaborative economy policies in Barcelona, shares her thoughts and experiences on how commons-based forms of collaboration can build a more just society.
One of the first case studies on the website of energydemocracy.net is the city of Boulder, USA. Driven by a commitment to meet its climate goals, Boulder first sought to push its private investor-owned utility, Xcel Energy, to embrace a radical transition to low-carbon energy. The reluctance and obfuscation of Xcel led the city to develop plans for a municipal energy utility, which the city has continued to push forward in the face of legal challenges and misinformation campaigns.
World leaders are at the UN Climate Talks (COP22) this week. Developing real solutions to climate and energy challenges will require imagination, determination and inspiration. Inspiration may come from the many cities, communities and even countries that are working hard to make the energy sector democratic, equitable and based on renewable sources.
Halverwege september publiceerde de progressieve denktank TNI in samenwerking met vakbeweging FNV een nieuwe brochure om burgers te waarschuwen tegen TiSA. Het verdrag kan immers grote invloed hebben op de dataprivacy van burgers of zou verdere privatisering van onderdelen van het zorgstelsel, zoals kraamzorg of ziekenhuisdiensten, afdwingen. En, vraagt de FNV zich af, hoe worden arbeidsnormen en minimumlonen eigenlijk gegarandeerd op een steeds verder uitdijende en competitiever wordende wereldmarkt?
The absence of over 70 percent of international delegates, denied temporary visa by the Canadian government, overshadowed the World Social Forum. Despite this saddening fact TNI's team managed to host and participate in a broad and diverse range of discussions, workshops and activities, for instance in the convergence space of “People and Planet before Profit. Moving away from Free Trade and Extractivism to Dismantle Corporate Power”.
How are people across the world taking back power over the energy sector and re-imagining how energy might be produced, distributed and used? How can the concept of energy democracy be deployed to demand a socially and just energy system, with universal access, fair tariffs and secure, unionised and well-paid jobs?
A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics – in particular for a subway line connecting the sports venues. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae)
Leaked TTIP documents show the EU is promoting unrestricted trade in fossil fuels and working to limit the implementation of clean energy policies, just months after the bloc proudly claimed to have “been at the forefront of international efforts towards a global climate deal”
Le Monde Diplomatique - The latest study from the Transnational Institute (TNI) on the effects of the ‘privatising industry’ in Europe concludes that ‘there is no evidence that the privatised companies are more efficient’. Instead, privatisation has undermined wage structures, made working conditions worse and increased income inequality.
We Own It organised the conference Own the Future: Public ownership in the 21st Century on 7th May, 2016 in London. A group of innovative, inspiring individuals gathered to start imagining the public ownership of the future: A vision for 2030 and a roadmap to get there. They tackled the key issues - robots, big data, power, space - and made a conscious effort to embrace the future.
International Water Justice community sent the petition to the Supreme Court of Indonesia. Residents of Jakarta filed a citizen lawsuit against water privatisation in Jakarta at Central Jakarta District Court in November 2012. They argued in the lawsuit that water privatisation failed to fulfil the residents’ access to safe water, caused a series of corruptions and financial harm to the public budgets. In March 2015, the court ruled in favour of the residents, annulling the contract agreement with two private water operators. It was a significant victory of people. The decision, however, was challenged by these private companies and other defendants. Unfortunately the residents lost in the High Court in February 2016. Jakarta people decided to challenge the High Court ruling at the Supreme Court.
Water Justice organisations from around the world jointly produced an online water justice toolkit to consolidate our knowledge base and support local campaigns against the corporate takeover of water.
Wie wordt er eigenlijk beter van privatiseringen? Het gaat geregeld fout in Europa, waarbij — behalve betrokken adviseurs en bankiers — iedereen er berooid vanaf komt. Matthijs Peters van het TNI zet de verontrustende conclusies van hun onderzoek naar de Europese privatiseringsindustrie uiteen.