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16 Jan 2020

Anand Chandrasekhar, swissinfo.ch

Swiss investment in Norwegian wind power project opposed

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[T]he Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) filed a complaint with the Swiss National Contact Point of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) against the BKW energy company. BKW holds shares in Nordic Wind Power DA - a European consortium of investors founded by Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners – that holds a 40% stake in the joint venture Fosen Wind DA that is implementing the project in the Fosen peninsula in western Norway...

Storheia, the site of one of the biggest of these wind farms, is an important winter pasture for the reindeer herds of the indigenous Southern Sami people. STP claims that the loss of these lands to the wind power project would force the last of the reindeer herders to give up their livelihood and culture.  

Despite opposition by the Sami and environmental groups as well as ongoing legal proceedings the Storheia wind power plant was completed in the autumn of 2019...

When contacted by swissinfo.ch BKW said it was open to dialogue and that it would follow the negotiation procedure if the complaint is taken up by the Swiss National Contact Point of the OECD.

Part of the following timelines

Swiss energy co. BKW to improve policies & complaint mechanisms, following OECD arbitration process over wind project opposed by Indigenous Sami people

Norway: Govt. and Sámi reach agreement to end the 3-year dispute over wind farm after Supreme Court ruling it violates their rights; incl. company responses