Dirty deeds of the clean energy sector: Investors urged to step up

(Eco Business, 17 Jul 2019) Death threats, child labour and other human rights abuses by renewable energy companies threaten to stall transition to a low-carbon economy. Investors have the power to change that.

From the violation of indigenous people’s rights to death threats and child labour, the renewable energy sector has been called out for its dirty deeds in the realm of human rights.

When it comes to attacks and intimidation of human rights defenders, the sector is the third-worst, coming in only behind the mining and agribusiness sectors, said the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO).

In a report released this week, it urged investors to step up to ensure the world’s energy transition is “not only fast, but also fair” and offered a guide on key questions to ask before ploughing capital into projects.

Since 2010, the NGO has identified 152 allegations of human rights abuses related to renewable energy projects.

The allegations extended across wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal and hydropower.

Latin America notched the highest number of allegations, its 91 cases making up 60 per cent of the total. Southeast Asia was second with 38 allegations since 2010, making up a quarter of the total.

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Eco Business, 17 Jul 2019: Dirty deeds of the clean energy sector: Investors urged to step up