Alexander Dunlap and Louis Laratte: European Green Deal necropolitics: Exploring ‘green’ energy transition, degrowth & infrastructural colonization

Published in Political Geography, 2022

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This article critically examines the GND (Green New Deal) platform by exploring the reality of energy development under the European Green Deal (EGD). Taking a special interest in degrowth positions on energy development, the article argues that the European Green Deal is an exercise in necropolitics; intensifying market relationships, extraction, and infrastructural colonization. The article proceeds by reviewing and discussing recent environmental justice and degrowth positions on energy infrastructural development. The methodology outlines desk-based research on resource extraction as well as on the European energy markets. This accompanies multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork, charting environmental conflicts along a 400kv high-tension power line. This line goes across France, Catalonia and Southern Spain, stretching into Morocco and occupied Western Sahara. Unconventional research techniques, such as hitchhiking, enabled mobility and expanding the informal interview pool. Outlining the objectives of the EGD, the next section examines three aspects of its necropolitics. First, necropolitical economy reveals the reality of energy market liberalization under the EGD. Second, necropolitical extraction examines the expansion of mining and mineral processing, which are necessary for the EGD and ‘mainstream’ GNDs. Third, necropolitical operation reveal the reality of ‘a rapid rollout of renewable energy deployment’ by examining infrastructure conflicts along a 400kv power line between France and Spain. The process of infrastructural colonization is detailed, which also introduces different land defender perspectives on degrowth. Affirming the argument that the EGD is an exercise in necropolitics, the conclusion discusses important ways to expand degrowth, energy ecologies and real energy transition.

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Alexander Dunlap Louis Laratte

Postdoctoral Fellow Alexander Dunlap
Postdoctoral Fellow Alexander Dunlap


Published Mar. 28, 2022 1:23 PM - Last modified Mar. 28, 2022 1:23 PM