Fair and sustainable energy is essential for our human and ecological security. Yet, competition for and access to fuel is one of the most thorny issues in international relations and has contributed to numerous conflicts. What does it take to achieve a just and sustainable transition?

On Thursday 24th November, Rethinking Security hosted a webinar to ask this question and look more closely at the UK’s energy policy – the geopolitics, the national policies, what a just transition looks like in the UK, and for the UK’s role in the world. Chaired by Prof. Paul Rogers (Bradford University), with Sam Mason (PCS), Brook Dambacher (Uplift) and Richard Reeve (Rethinking Security).

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, much has been made of the disruption to the supply of oil and gas, and its contribution to the fuel crisis in the UK. However, as this webinar explored there are many more reasons why we are experiencing insecurity when it comes to energy. From focusing on more and smaller energy generation projects, to making public buildings energy efficient, there is no shortage of ways that easily move us away from reliance on Russian, or indeed Qatari, gas.

As the speakers in this discussion demonstrated, it is the definition of energy security, or ‘security’ itself that is the problem. Britain still uses the big petroleum companies to shore up global influence and bases energy security on a balance on imports and exports. This leave workers in the sector and normal people, not to mention the planet, without the security that should be afforded them, if the ability to heat our homes and avoid climate catastrophe were regarded as the security priorities that they should be.

You can watch the event below and have a look at the twitter thread for a recap of the events.

Slides from Brook Dambacher’s presentation.

Rethinking Security aims to extend the conversation on security in the UK. We should all have a role in defining what security means and how it is best implemented. If you’d like to be part of that conversation, visit our Alternative Security Review pages to have your say. Our next event will launch a new project that is part of the ASR, and a way that you could include others in the review. Sign up here to hear from some great speakers who have thought a lot about what human security is, what it means to them and how it can be created, as well as find out more about the project, Visualising Security.

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