Wind gets warning on human rights abuses

“The stability we all depend on is breaking. This story is one of inequality as well as instability."

Richard Heap
November 25, 2021
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Wind gets warning on human rights abuses

“The stability we all depend on is breaking. This story is one of inequality as well as instability. Today, those who’ve done the least to cause this problem are being the hardest hit. Ultimately, all of us will feel the impacts.”

As Sir David Attenborough set out his hopes for the United Nations COP26 climate talks in Glasgow in a speech to world leaders on 1st November, he highlighted that many of the nations that are hardest hit by climate change are also those least able to cope and which have contributed least to the problem.

Overall, though, he set out a hopeful vision where countries could tackle these problems, including with renewables. You can watch the full speech here

The result of the two-week talks was less hopeful. It is always an achievement to get 195 countries to agree on anything, and a commitment to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees is better than nothing. Support for rapid expansion of renewable energy sources should also hearten people working in wind.

But the Glasgow Climate Pact has attracted major criticism for how promises to phase out coal and end subsidies for fossil fuels were watered down at the eleventh hour after lobbying from China and India. It is for this reason that we have seen many onlookers brand the talks a failure.

Where do we go from here?

The world now looks to businesses to step up where politicians in Glasgow fell short and deliver the green industrial revolution Attenborough said is essential.

For companies in the wind industry, that means not only delivering new wind farms but doing so in a way that does not entrench existing inequalities.

That is why a briefing from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, which was published on 2nd November, deserves the wind industry’s attention. It said that the transition to clean energy is critical to the “essential economic transformation” the world needs to achieve systems that are “both equitable and sustainable”, but it also argues that many huge companies in the renewable energy sector are falling short.

This is the BHRCC’s second annual benchmark of 15 of the largest global renewables companies. It said that there were “significant shortcomings” for how these companies implement “well-recognised human rights standards”. These include land rights, indigenous people’s rights, and protections for human rights defenders.

The top performers were Iberdrola, Acciona Energy and EDP, and the bottom three were China Nuclear Power Generation Corporation, Power China, and The Southern Company. But it also argued the overall results were “profoundly concerning” as all 15 companies scored an average of 28% on the metrics being considered, and that there has only been “modest progress within the industry” over the last year. You can read the full report here

In the last decade, the BHRCC said there had been over 200 allegations of human rights abuses connected to renewable energy projects, of which 44% were linked to wind and solar farms. These were illegal land and water grabs; violations of indigenous nations’ rights; and the denial of workers’ rights to decent work and a living wage.

This shows that the business practices of renewables companies in emerging markets are attracting great attention, and that falling short on human rights is a risk to both the company itself and the community in which it operates.

“Without real and rapid progress, communities that host renewable energy projects will continue to face human rights risks with often tragic consequences. Renewable energy companies will face ongoing reputation, operational and legal risks, and investors will be exposed to those risks as well,” the organisation said.

The energy transition will only be a success if it is fair as well as fast, and if firms in sectors including wind integrate robust due diligence about potential human rights abuses into their business practises.

If this does not happen then it will only worsen the instability and inequality that people in these countries are already feeling.

“The stability we all depend on is breaking. This story is one of inequality as well as instability. Today, those who’ve done the least to cause this problem are being the hardest hit. Ultimately, all of us will feel the impacts.”

As Sir David Attenborough set out his hopes for the United Nations COP26 climate talks in Glasgow in a speech to world leaders on 1st November, he highlighted that many of the nations that are hardest hit by climate change are also those least able to cope and which have contributed least to the problem.

Overall, though, he set out a hopeful vision where countries could tackle these problems, including with renewables. You can watch the full speech here

The result of the two-week talks was less hopeful. It is always an achievement to get 195 countries to agree on anything, and a commitment to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees is better than nothing. Support for rapid expansion of renewable energy sources should also hearten people working in wind.

But the Glasgow Climate Pact has attracted major criticism for how promises to phase out coal and end subsidies for fossil fuels were watered down at the eleventh hour after lobbying from China and India. It is for this reason that we have seen many onlookers brand the talks a failure.

Where do we go from here?

The world now looks to businesses to step up where politicians in Glasgow fell short and deliver the green industrial revolution Attenborough said is essential.

For companies in the wind industry, that means not only delivering new wind farms but doing so in a way that does not entrench existing inequalities.

That is why a briefing from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, which was published on 2nd November, deserves the wind industry’s attention. It said that the transition to clean energy is critical to the “essential economic transformation” the world needs to achieve systems that are “both equitable and sustainable”, but it also argues that many huge companies in the renewable energy sector are falling short.

This is the BHRCC’s second annual benchmark of 15 of the largest global renewables companies. It said that there were “significant shortcomings” for how these companies implement “well-recognised human rights standards”. These include land rights, indigenous people’s rights, and protections for human rights defenders.

The top performers were Iberdrola, Acciona Energy and EDP, and the bottom three were China Nuclear Power Generation Corporation, Power China, and The Southern Company. But it also argued the overall results were “profoundly concerning” as all 15 companies scored an average of 28% on the metrics being considered, and that there has only been “modest progress within the industry” over the last year. You can read the full report here

In the last decade, the BHRCC said there had been over 200 allegations of human rights abuses connected to renewable energy projects, of which 44% were linked to wind and solar farms. These were illegal land and water grabs; violations of indigenous nations’ rights; and the denial of workers’ rights to decent work and a living wage.

This shows that the business practices of renewables companies in emerging markets are attracting great attention, and that falling short on human rights is a risk to both the company itself and the community in which it operates.

“Without real and rapid progress, communities that host renewable energy projects will continue to face human rights risks with often tragic consequences. Renewable energy companies will face ongoing reputation, operational and legal risks, and investors will be exposed to those risks as well,” the organisation said.

The energy transition will only be a success if it is fair as well as fast, and if firms in sectors including wind integrate robust due diligence about potential human rights abuses into their business practises.

If this does not happen then it will only worsen the instability and inequality that people in these countries are already feeling.

“The stability we all depend on is breaking. This story is one of inequality as well as instability. Today, those who’ve done the least to cause this problem are being the hardest hit. Ultimately, all of us will feel the impacts.”

As Sir David Attenborough set out his hopes for the United Nations COP26 climate talks in Glasgow in a speech to world leaders on 1st November, he highlighted that many of the nations that are hardest hit by climate change are also those least able to cope and which have contributed least to the problem.

Overall, though, he set out a hopeful vision where countries could tackle these problems, including with renewables. You can watch the full speech here

The result of the two-week talks was less hopeful. It is always an achievement to get 195 countries to agree on anything, and a commitment to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees is better than nothing. Support for rapid expansion of renewable energy sources should also hearten people working in wind.

But the Glasgow Climate Pact has attracted major criticism for how promises to phase out coal and end subsidies for fossil fuels were watered down at the eleventh hour after lobbying from China and India. It is for this reason that we have seen many onlookers brand the talks a failure.

Where do we go from here?

The world now looks to businesses to step up where politicians in Glasgow fell short and deliver the green industrial revolution Attenborough said is essential.

For companies in the wind industry, that means not only delivering new wind farms but doing so in a way that does not entrench existing inequalities.

That is why a briefing from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, which was published on 2nd November, deserves the wind industry’s attention. It said that the transition to clean energy is critical to the “essential economic transformation” the world needs to achieve systems that are “both equitable and sustainable”, but it also argues that many huge companies in the renewable energy sector are falling short.

This is the BHRCC’s second annual benchmark of 15 of the largest global renewables companies. It said that there were “significant shortcomings” for how these companies implement “well-recognised human rights standards”. These include land rights, indigenous people’s rights, and protections for human rights defenders.

The top performers were Iberdrola, Acciona Energy and EDP, and the bottom three were China Nuclear Power Generation Corporation, Power China, and The Southern Company. But it also argued the overall results were “profoundly concerning” as all 15 companies scored an average of 28% on the metrics being considered, and that there has only been “modest progress within the industry” over the last year. You can read the full report here

In the last decade, the BHRCC said there had been over 200 allegations of human rights abuses connected to renewable energy projects, of which 44% were linked to wind and solar farms. These were illegal land and water grabs; violations of indigenous nations’ rights; and the denial of workers’ rights to decent work and a living wage.

This shows that the business practices of renewables companies in emerging markets are attracting great attention, and that falling short on human rights is a risk to both the company itself and the community in which it operates.

“Without real and rapid progress, communities that host renewable energy projects will continue to face human rights risks with often tragic consequences. Renewable energy companies will face ongoing reputation, operational and legal risks, and investors will be exposed to those risks as well,” the organisation said.

The energy transition will only be a success if it is fair as well as fast, and if firms in sectors including wind integrate robust due diligence about potential human rights abuses into their business practises.

If this does not happen then it will only worsen the instability and inequality that people in these countries are already feeling.

“The stability we all depend on is breaking. This story is one of inequality as well as instability. Today, those who’ve done the least to cause this problem are being the hardest hit. Ultimately, all of us will feel the impacts.”

As Sir David Attenborough set out his hopes for the United Nations COP26 climate talks in Glasgow in a speech to world leaders on 1st November, he highlighted that many of the nations that are hardest hit by climate change are also those least able to cope and which have contributed least to the problem.

Overall, though, he set out a hopeful vision where countries could tackle these problems, including with renewables. You can watch the full speech here

The result of the two-week talks was less hopeful. It is always an achievement to get 195 countries to agree on anything, and a commitment to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees is better than nothing. Support for rapid expansion of renewable energy sources should also hearten people working in wind.

But the Glasgow Climate Pact has attracted major criticism for how promises to phase out coal and end subsidies for fossil fuels were watered down at the eleventh hour after lobbying from China and India. It is for this reason that we have seen many onlookers brand the talks a failure.

Where do we go from here?

The world now looks to businesses to step up where politicians in Glasgow fell short and deliver the green industrial revolution Attenborough said is essential.

For companies in the wind industry, that means not only delivering new wind farms but doing so in a way that does not entrench existing inequalities.

That is why a briefing from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, which was published on 2nd November, deserves the wind industry’s attention. It said that the transition to clean energy is critical to the “essential economic transformation” the world needs to achieve systems that are “both equitable and sustainable”, but it also argues that many huge companies in the renewable energy sector are falling short.

This is the BHRCC’s second annual benchmark of 15 of the largest global renewables companies. It said that there were “significant shortcomings” for how these companies implement “well-recognised human rights standards”. These include land rights, indigenous people’s rights, and protections for human rights defenders.

The top performers were Iberdrola, Acciona Energy and EDP, and the bottom three were China Nuclear Power Generation Corporation, Power China, and The Southern Company. But it also argued the overall results were “profoundly concerning” as all 15 companies scored an average of 28% on the metrics being considered, and that there has only been “modest progress within the industry” over the last year. You can read the full report here

In the last decade, the BHRCC said there had been over 200 allegations of human rights abuses connected to renewable energy projects, of which 44% were linked to wind and solar farms. These were illegal land and water grabs; violations of indigenous nations’ rights; and the denial of workers’ rights to decent work and a living wage.

This shows that the business practices of renewables companies in emerging markets are attracting great attention, and that falling short on human rights is a risk to both the company itself and the community in which it operates.

“Without real and rapid progress, communities that host renewable energy projects will continue to face human rights risks with often tragic consequences. Renewable energy companies will face ongoing reputation, operational and legal risks, and investors will be exposed to those risks as well,” the organisation said.

The energy transition will only be a success if it is fair as well as fast, and if firms in sectors including wind integrate robust due diligence about potential human rights abuses into their business practises.

If this does not happen then it will only worsen the instability and inequality that people in these countries are already feeling.

“The stability we all depend on is breaking. This story is one of inequality as well as instability. Today, those who’ve done the least to cause this problem are being the hardest hit. Ultimately, all of us will feel the impacts.”

As Sir David Attenborough set out his hopes for the United Nations COP26 climate talks in Glasgow in a speech to world leaders on 1st November, he highlighted that many of the nations that are hardest hit by climate change are also those least able to cope and which have contributed least to the problem.

Overall, though, he set out a hopeful vision where countries could tackle these problems, including with renewables. You can watch the full speech here

The result of the two-week talks was less hopeful. It is always an achievement to get 195 countries to agree on anything, and a commitment to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees is better than nothing. Support for rapid expansion of renewable energy sources should also hearten people working in wind.

But the Glasgow Climate Pact has attracted major criticism for how promises to phase out coal and end subsidies for fossil fuels were watered down at the eleventh hour after lobbying from China and India. It is for this reason that we have seen many onlookers brand the talks a failure.

Where do we go from here?

The world now looks to businesses to step up where politicians in Glasgow fell short and deliver the green industrial revolution Attenborough said is essential.

For companies in the wind industry, that means not only delivering new wind farms but doing so in a way that does not entrench existing inequalities.

That is why a briefing from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, which was published on 2nd November, deserves the wind industry’s attention. It said that the transition to clean energy is critical to the “essential economic transformation” the world needs to achieve systems that are “both equitable and sustainable”, but it also argues that many huge companies in the renewable energy sector are falling short.

This is the BHRCC’s second annual benchmark of 15 of the largest global renewables companies. It said that there were “significant shortcomings” for how these companies implement “well-recognised human rights standards”. These include land rights, indigenous people’s rights, and protections for human rights defenders.

The top performers were Iberdrola, Acciona Energy and EDP, and the bottom three were China Nuclear Power Generation Corporation, Power China, and The Southern Company. But it also argued the overall results were “profoundly concerning” as all 15 companies scored an average of 28% on the metrics being considered, and that there has only been “modest progress within the industry” over the last year. You can read the full report here

In the last decade, the BHRCC said there had been over 200 allegations of human rights abuses connected to renewable energy projects, of which 44% were linked to wind and solar farms. These were illegal land and water grabs; violations of indigenous nations’ rights; and the denial of workers’ rights to decent work and a living wage.

This shows that the business practices of renewables companies in emerging markets are attracting great attention, and that falling short on human rights is a risk to both the company itself and the community in which it operates.

“Without real and rapid progress, communities that host renewable energy projects will continue to face human rights risks with often tragic consequences. Renewable energy companies will face ongoing reputation, operational and legal risks, and investors will be exposed to those risks as well,” the organisation said.

The energy transition will only be a success if it is fair as well as fast, and if firms in sectors including wind integrate robust due diligence about potential human rights abuses into their business practises.

If this does not happen then it will only worsen the instability and inequality that people in these countries are already feeling.

Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.

Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.