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30 Jan 2024

A just transition for all: Key tools for a fast & fair shift to renewable energy in Latin America

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It is essential that the energy transition is just, rights-respecting and leaves no one behind.
Fernanda Hopenhaym, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Latin America, a region rich in resources for clean energy, will play a crucial role in the transition to a net-zero carbon economy. Increased demand for the transition minerals required for renewable technologies – which Latin America has in large supply – as well as the growth of renewable energy projects in the region present both economic opportunities and human rights challenges. This is despite increasing evidence that in order for the global energy transition to be fast, it must also be fair.

Civil society and grassroots organisations are critical stakeholders in bringing about structural change at both state and corporate levels to ensure a just energy transition. Evidence shows that such a transition is possible, and particularly where the voices and expertise of frontline communities, defenders and workers are prioritised in the drive to ensure better corporate practice across the renewable energy value chain.

This guide aims to provide civil society and grassroots organisations (including Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendant and peasant communities, among others) with tools to develop and strengthen their internal and international strategies to advocate for a just energy transition that rests on three core principles: shared prosperity, human rights and social protection, and fair negotiations.

Further reading

Renewable Energy & Human Rights Benchmark 2023

A rights-respecting renewable energy sector will be vital if we are to deliver a fast and fair energy transition. Our third global Renewable Energy & Human Rights Benchmark examines the human rights policies and practices of 28 of the largest wind and solar developers and manufacturers.

Just energy transition principles for human rights in business and investment

Impacts of the global climate crisis are multiplying quickly, and particularly for Indigenous and marginalised communities. But the transition cannot come at their expense. A just transition to clean energy must centre on three core principles: shared prosperity, human rights and social protection, and fair negotiations.

Transition Minerals Tracker

Tracking the human rights implications of the mineral boom powering the transition to a low-carbon economy