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Accepted Paper:

Energy Transitions, Finance and Natural Resources: From London to Latin America  
Angus McNelly (University of Greenwich)

Paper short abstract:

A discussion of the interactions between hegemonic conceptions of transitions and bottom up proposals, and how financial actors in the global North are shaping the field of possibility for alternative transitions.

Paper long abstract:

Latin America’s “open veins” have long been plundered for their natural resource wealth, often to the benefit economic actors based in the world’s financial centres, most notably London, UK. The imminent green translation, it appears, will extend the region’s extractive frontiers ever further, with decisions made by distant government and corporations in the global North once again looming large on the continent. Whilst there is a well-established literature on extractivism in Latin America and vibrant debates centred on energy transitions are taking place in social movements and universities in the regions alike, less attention has been paid to how new forms of dependency in the twenty-first century. I argue that closer attention needs to be placed on how de-risking strategies, financial markets in sustainable bonds and the trading of transition minerals interact with existent extractive processes and state forms in the region. In this paper I outline theoretical tools that can help us draw connections between London and the Andes, between finance and frontier subjects, between energy transitions and new forms of dependency. In doing so, I aim not to offer definitive answers but tools that academics, social movements and political actors in Latin America alike can use to grapple with the global forces shaping energy transitions. It is only by looking at the global factors from above driving the shift towards green energy that we can find ways to open spaces for alternative transitions that build upon indigenous cosmovisions and epistemologies of the South more generally.

Panel P40
Just energy transitions from the ground up. Decoloniality and renewable energy transitions
  Session 1 Thursday 29 June, 2023, -