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Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Sonen Capital, Transform Finance, Published on: 24 April 2017
Investment in renewable energy projects has increased close to fivefold over the past 12 years, from $62 billion in 2004 to $287 billion in 2016. As technology costs continue to drop, investments in renewable energy are increasingly recognised as providing a competitive advantage. However, the way in which these projects are developed and implemented matters – both for local communities and for investors. There has been a rise in reports of renewable energy projects negatively affecting the communities where they operate including impacts on land, indigenous peoples, threats, intimidation, and even killings. This causes operational delays, legal costs and reputational risks, which are likely to translate in diminished financial returns for investors, as well as increased operational and capital expenditure...Investors can engage companies to mitigate risks and improve human rights practices. By doing so they reduce risk to their investments and to local communities, while contributing to a just transition to a low-carbon economy that benefits everyone.Investors should drive conversations with companies, particularly on achieving high standard of human rights due diligence and community engagement...