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Commentary: Rapid growth in renewable energy risks bypassing poor communities

Author: Meg Wilcox, Ceres, on Ensia (USA), Published on: 3 April 2016

"How Can We Ensure the Race for Clean Energy Doesn't Leave the World's Poorest Citizens Behind?", 4 Apr 2016

Wind power is booming in Mexico... By 2018 it expects to have 10,000 MW installed as part of the government’s Climate Action Plan...Scratch the surface of that boom, however, and you’ll find uncomfortable truths: land rights conflicts and perceived inequities in access to the cheaper wind power that are fueling fierce resistance to the wind farms among indigenous communities in the southern state of Oaxaca, which provides more than 80 percent of the total wind-power output of the country...Companies are tapping into the wind resource through power purchase agreements signed with wind developers and the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission, CFE... Laws and regulations are needed — defining land values and devising protocols for rights disputes on communal lands, for example — to ensure there is a clear path toward sharing benefits from these projects...[M]ore attention is needed on business models and financing schemes that incorporate the needs of the energy poor and do not assume that benefits will trickle down from industrial projects..Climate science urges rapid expansion of renewable energy, but hasty development can ignore the needs of poor communities that not only are the most vulnerable and least able to adapt to climate change impacts, but in some cases are being asked to give up their land and livelihood to meet the growing energy demands of people outside of their communities when their own energy needs are small... [Refers to: Bimbo, Cemex, Heineken, Walmart]

Read the full post here

Related companies: Cemex Grupo Bimbo Heineken Walmart