Energ’Ethic Podcast – 51 – Laying the Groundwork: Environmental Activism in Latvia’s Green Shift – Janis Brizga

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Welcome to a new episode of the Energ' Ethic podcast, where we delve into the stories of those who cultivate the energy transition and harvest its benefits for a more sustainable future.In today’s enlightening conversation, Janis Brizga (https://www.li...

Welcome to a new episode of the Energ’ Ethic podcast, where we delve into the stories of those who cultivate the energy transition and harvest its benefits for a more sustainable future.

In today’s enlightening conversation, Janis Brizga, an environmental activist with roots in Latvia’s movements since the Soviet era, shares how deeply ingrained values and ethical debates have grown into robust frameworks for today’s energy and environmental challenges.

Janis reflects on his journey from being part of the nascent environmental activism during the Soviet Union’s collapse to embracing interdisciplinary approaches that combine academia, administration, and grassroots movements to address environmental challenges. He discusses the shift in Latvia’s environmental movements from the passionate activism of the 1990s to more practical, utilitarian strategies today.

Exploring the theme of local energy reliance, Janis shares how Latvia’s dependence on forest biomass for energy sparks significant debates on sustainability and conservation. He advocates for the integration of energy communities to bridge the gap between good intentions and actual energy solutions, highlighting both the potential and the challenges—such as low trust in institutions and lack of technical tools—that need overcoming to enhance energy democracy.

The conversation also covers how technological advancements and government policies are reshaping Latvia’s energy production and consumption landscapes. Janis emphasizes the importance of making sustainable energy solutions accessible, especially for low-income groups, to foster inclusive community involvement.

Addressing public engagement, Janis confronts the myths and resistance surrounding new energy technologies like wind and solar power, underscoring the need for robust public engagement and trust building. He also celebrates the burgeoning permaculture movement in Latvia as a hopeful sign of sustainable living and local resource management.

Marine and Janis conclude with a discussion on energy citizenship initiatives, highlighting how these efforts contribute significantly to the European energy transition by integrating sustainable practices into daily lives and broader policy frameworks.

Join us as we uncover the narrative of changemakers like Janis Brizga, who nurture the seeds of sustainable development and cultivate the ground for a greener, more equitable future.

This episode is brought to you thanks to the generous sponsorship of EnergyPROSPECTS (PROactive Strategies and Policies for Energy Citizenship Transformation), European Commission Grant Agreement No. 101022492. EnergyPROSPECTS is a Horizon 2020 project that examines the potential of energy citizenship to contribute to the European energy transition.

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Reach out to Marine Cornelis via Twitter @MarineCornelis or LinkedIn
Music: I Need You Here – Kamarius
Edition: Podcast Media Factory 

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