Resolution of the ViBGYOR Energy Conference, Thiruvanathapuram

The conference on `Energy: Policies, Problems and Alternatives.’ organized as a curtain raiser to the VIBGYOR International Film Festival for short & documentary films resolved the following main points as the outcome of the seminar.

1.At a time when struggles against nuclear power plants, large dams and thermal plants are becoming more and more common in the developing world, the need to discuss problems related to energy is becoming more and more grave. An understanding of the implications of choice of any form of energy is a political choice which has to be implemented with concern and understanding of its impact on communities, environment and future generations.

2.While most of the developed countries have discarded the possibilities of setting up new nuclear plants due to resistance from their own people, India however is moving towards a nuclear deal with the United States. The number of nuclear plants, which may come up following this deal and its impact on the civil society in India, is yet to be discussed properly. In view of a grave threat to the future, the seminar conclude that all constructions of new nuclear plants in India should be immediately stopped. The nuclear deal between the United States and India must be opposed from the perspective of health and ecology of the present and future generations.

3.While the existing centralized energy production has proven to be hazardous beyond doubt, the investment and promotion of sustainable forms of energy are still very weak. We have abundant sun and wind in this country which can be tapped more effectively for many of our energy needs. The loss of energy due to production and distribution is also less in decentralized forms of energy production. However, promotion of sustainable forms of energy production requires a political will, both from the civil society and the governments with concern for future generations and environment.

4.Whether the present projection of energy requirement is justified in terms of people’s real needs is another crucial question. There is urgency to stop/control/regulate distribution of energy to all hazardous industries and hazardous forms of agricultural production. Such a control will cut down the projected requirements in a major way. Ultimately, only when the production is based people’s needs and instead of profit for some, the real solutions for energy can materialise.

5.Uncontrolled growth and sway of the market over the energy sector leads to energy production based on destruction of communities, environment and future generations. It is time that the civil society puts an end to such destruction.

6.Since people are the final victims of the present energy planning, this grave area of decision about what kind of energy has to be promoted should be decided by the people and not by experts alone.

7.The existing victims of erroneous energy production projects and plants have to be compensated and rehabilitated before any future plan for expansion of energy production planning is made. This gathering condemns all human rights violations in the name of energy and its unlimited and uncontrolled growth.

8.This seminar appeals to all activist groups and people’s movements to pressurize the government/s to take immediate steps to cut the budgets for research and facilitation of destructive forms of energy production and divert all resources to sustainable forms for energy production and distribution.

9.The participants of the seminar express solidarity to the people struggling against Koodamkulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu, people’s movement against Haripur nuclear plant in West Bengal, the struggle against thermal plant in Mysore and the struggle against Athirappalli project in Chalakudy, Kerala, the struggle for justice in the Narmada valley and all similar struggles against destructive forms of energy production.

ViBGYOR Curtain Raiser National Conference on `Energy: Policies, Problems and Alternatives.’ was organised at Thiruvanathapuram on 24th january 2008 as part of VIBGYOR International Film Festival for Short & Documentary Films