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Dismantling Green Colonialism

Dismantling Green Colonialism

Energy and Climate Justice in the Arab Region

Edited by Hamza Hamouchene and Katie Sandwell

Series: Transnational Institute

Questioning energy transition in the Arab region using a climate justice lens

The Arab region is a focus of world politics, with authoritarian regimes, significant fossil fuel reserves and histories of colonialism and imperialism. It is also the site of potentially immense green energy resources.

The writers in this collection explore a region ripe for energy transition, but held back by resource-grabbing and (neo)colonial agendas. They show the importance of fighting for a just energy transition and climate justice - exposing policies and practices that protect global and local political elites, multinational corporations and military regimes.

Covering a wide range of countries from Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria and Tunisia to Egypt, Sudan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine, this book challenges Eurocentrism and highlights instead a class-conscious approach to climate justice that is necessary for our survival.

An open access ebook version of this title is available, here.

Dr Hamza Hamouchene is a London-based Algerian researcher and activist. He is the North Africa Programme Coordinator at the Transnational Institute (TNI), and a founding member of Algeria Solidarity Campaign (ASC), Environmental Justice North Africa (EJNA) and the North African Food Sovereignty Network (NAFSN). He has written and edited several books including The Arab Uprisings: A decade of struggles and The Struggle for Energy Democracy in the Maghreb. His writings have appeared in Africa Is A CountryGuardianHuffington Post, Middle East Eye,  New Internationalist, Jadaliyya, openDemocracy, ROAR and other places.

Katie Sandwell is a Programme Coordinator with the Transnational Institute. She has published on global food sovereignty movements, just transition and land struggles and is co-author of From Crisis to Transformation: What is Just Transition?

'Demonstrates that the climate crisis - along with mainstream responses to it - is playing out along colonial lines. It's time to face up to this reality and build an anti-colonial struggle in response.'

- Jason Hickel, economic anthropologist and author of 'Less is More'

'This groundbreaking volume by scholars deeply embedded in the region's political and knowledge production milieus, offers a timely, indeed acute, analysis of what a just transition might mean for the region. The authors examine in theoretically and empirically rich essays contestations over the Sahara, greenwashing Israel's colonisation of Palestine, agricultural and mineral extractivism, green capitalism and finance and a range of other urgently pivotal subjects.'

- Laleh Khalili, author of 'Sinews of War and Trade: Shipping and Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula'

'A brave and timely book that offers hope for our planet. These essays from the Arab world analyse the complexity of the environmental issues at play in the region and offer an optimistic, global, democratic vision of transformative sustainability centred around climate justice.'

- Ahdaf Soueif, novelist and political and cultural commentator

'A much-needed decolonized examination of the climate crisis for all sacrificial zones. A focus on the situation in North Africa, an area of intense contestations pitching the peoples against the relentless push by fossil fuel speculators and other forces of neoliberalism is both welcome and a clear warning that must not be ignored.'

- Nnimmo Bassey, author of 'To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Change Crisis in Africa'

'A must-read thought-provoking book for every researcher, policymaker and activist working on climate, energy, development and social justice issues in the Arab region. This volume educates and empowers its readers to think about the roots of the problems in clear, systematic, and transformative ways. A significant contribution to the literature on just transition, greenwashing, neocolonialism, extractivism, and neoliberalism.'

- Fadhel Kaboub, President of the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity

'This book is crucial for those seeking alternative visions and policies to the complete disaster currently being produced by capitalism, and to capitalism’s failing global and local projects to deal with an issue that is a question of life and death. Despite the multi-dimensional crisis that the Arab region – and the whole world – is going through […] the Arab region remains largely absent from the intensifying debate over the future.'

- Wael Gamal, Egyptian writer and researcher in political economy

'Just as the science is telling us loud and clear that the current situation of climate deterioration may be our last chance “before it is too late”, so the research and knowledge presented in this book, including its practical and feasible recommendations (which are directed to people rather than to the indifferent, comprador regimes in the Arab region), serves as wake-up call, reminding us of the urgent need to act before it is too late.'

- Nahla Chahal, Professor of political sociology, Editor-in-Chief, 'As-Safir Al-Arabi'

‘[T]his book serves as a crucial link in the collective efforts and common priorities of climate experts and climate justice advocates in Arab countries who, moreover, refuse the new colonialism that is disguised in some agendas around addressing climate change and harnessing renewable energies. I hope this book can be a catalyst that will prompt governments and civil society organizations and institutions to pursue climate justice and achieve energy democracy in North Africa.’

- Houcine Rhili, Development specialist, Tunisia

'For anyone committed to putting the Just into Just Transition this is a vital intervention that connects the past to the present and challenges us not only to reimagine the future, but to stand with those on the frontlines fighting for it.'

- Asad Rehman, War on Want, UK

'The inevitable consequences of climate change caused by extractivism will mostly affect vulnerable communities ... The authors push us to be critical of green projects and remind us that not everything green should be blindly accepted.'

- 'The New Arab'

Tables and Figures

Introduction: Just in Time – The Urgent Need for a Just Transition in the Arab Region - Hamza Hamouchene and Katie Sandwell

1. The Energy Transition in North Africa: Neocolonialism Again! – Hamza Hamouchene
2. An Unjust Transition: Energy, Colonialism and Extractivism in Occupied Western Sahara - Joanna Allan, Hamza Lakhal and Mahmoud Lemaadel
3. Arab–Israeli Eco-Normalization: Greenwashing Settler Colonialism in Palestine and the Jawlan - Manal Shqair
4. What Can an Old Mine Tell Us about a Just Energy Transition? Lessons from Social Mobilization across Mining and Renewable Energy in Morocco - Karen Rignall
5. Towards a Just Agricultural Transition in North Africa - Saker El Nour
6. The Electricity Crisis in Sudan: Between Quick Fixes and Opportunities for a Sustainable Energy Transition - Razaz H. Basheir and Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman

7. International Finance and the Commodification of Electricity in Egypt - Mohamed Gad
8. The Energy Sector in Jordan: Crises Caused by Dysfunctional and Unjust Policies - Asmaa Mohammad Amin
9. Renewable Energy in Tunisia: An Unjust Transition - Chafik Ben Rouine and Flavie Roche
10. The Moroccan Energy Sector: A Permanent Dependence - Jawad Moustakbal

11. A Transition to Where? The Gulf Arab States and the New 'East-East' Axis of World Oil - Adam Hanieh
12. The Challenges of the Energy Transition in Fossil Fuel Exporting Countries: The Case of Algeria - Imane Boukhatem
13. Unjust Transitions: The Gulf States' Role in the "Sustainability Shift" in the Middle East and North Africa - Christian Henderson

About the Contributors

Published by Pluto Press in Oct 2023
Paperback ISBN: 9780745349213

140mm x 216mm

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