Our key takeaway: The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s 2023 Renewable Energy & Human Rights Benchmark builds on an important statistic: “To reach net zero by 2050, the International Energy Agency estimates annual clean energy investment must increase seven-fold and amount to approximately US$4 trillion; and installed capacity of renewables-based electricity generation must triple by 2030 – with solar and wind capacity accounting for 85% of that increase.” The report suggests that increased investor appetite, spurred by government policy initiatives, can help accelerate renewable energy investment, but cautions that this cannot be achieved at the expense of human rights, especially those of Indigenous Peoples and other project-affected people. Companies in the solar and wind sectors and oil and gas companies entering the renewable energy market must take immediate, urgent action on four fronts to ensure a just energy transition: (1) Creating “shared prosperity” by sharing benefits of projects with project affected people, ensuring decent work and living wages for workers, bringing along workers left behind by the energy transition and conducting responsible, transparent corporate lobbying. (2) Upholding their corporate duty of care by adopting policies to respect human rights and protections for human rights and environmental defenders, conducting full value chain human rights due diligence, providing remedy for harms, and disclosing suppliers. (3) Negotiating fairly with local communities and ensuring FPIC for indigenous peoples, supporting channels for worker voice, and publicly reporting on payments and contracts with host country governments. (4) Planning and acting on the net-zero transition; oil and gas companies in particular should be adopting plans to cease fossil fuel production and halt exploration.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) published Renewable Energy & Human Rights Benchmark: Key Findings from the Wind and Solar Sectors (November 2023):