Renewable energy & human rights

Renewable energy is key for our transition to a low-carbon economy, but companies’ human rights policies and practices are not yet strong enough to ensure this transition is both fast and fair. 

The resources below provide a series of briefings analysing renewable energy companies' human rights policies and practices. The briefings highlight human rights concerns, examples of good practice, as well as cases showing that failure to respect human rights can result in project delays, legal procedures and costs for renewable energy companies, underlying the urgency to strengthen human rights due diligence. Additional information is available in our coverage of the latest news relating to renewable energy.

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Community consultation

Renewable energy & human rights benchmark

This first human rights benchmark of the largest renewable energy companies reveals that most lack the essential human rights policies to avoid abuse of the communities and workers on which a just transition depends. The results of the benchmark suggest that none of the companies analysed are currently fully meeting their responsibility to respect human rights, as defined by the UN Guiding Principles. It aims to create a race to the top on human rights in the renewable energy sector, bolstered by investors, in support of a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

Mapping the renewable energy sector to the SDGs: An Atlas

This report highlights that renewable energy project developers and operators can best support the achievement of the SDGs by incorporating responsible and human rights-respecting practices into their core business operations and collaborating with other stakeholders to amplify impact, and in doing so will also minimize risk and support a sustainable transition to a low-carbon economy. The final version will be released in June 2019.

Wind & hydro sectors

This briefing analyses 50 wind, hydropower and utility companies’ human rights policies and practices as well as allegations about wind and hydropower projects. It argues that a fast transition to renewable energy is essential, but it will be neither fair for people nor sustainable for companies unless undertaken with human rights considerations at its core.

Solar, bioenergy & geothermal sectors

This briefing analyses 59 solar, bioenergy and geothermal companies' human rights policies and practices on five key areas: human rights commitment, community consultations, grievance mechanisms, labour rights and supply chain monitoring. It provides information on allegations against companies as well as emerging best practices.

Practical guide for investors on renewable energy & human rights

This briefing sets out how investors can help tackle the climate crisis while respecting human rights in a just transition. It is divided into five snapshots, which provide statistics and case studies highlighting key human rights risks and impacts for each of the major renewable energy subsectors: wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydropower. For our previous investor briefing focused on community impacts, see here.

Online platforms

Transition Minerals Tracker

The Transition Minerals Tracker is a project that tracks mining operations related to solar energy, wind energy and electric vehicles worldwide. This tracker seeks to improve the human rights practices of companies that produce the minerals vital to the renewable energy and electric vehicles sectors, by shedding light on the key human rights risks in the geographies where they operate, and the human rights policies and practices of the most important companies in this sub-sector.

Interactive company platforms

The Resource Centre’s interactive platforms on renewable energy provide a mapping of company responses from the wind & hydropower sectors as well as the solar, bioenergy and geothermal sectors. Renewable energy companies and investors can explore and compare company approaches to human rights. Companies will find useful resources on how to improve their human rights policies and practices.

Case studies

The Resource Centre is collecting case studies of best practices and allegations of abuse against renewable energy companies. Cases are featured on our online portal and can be explored by region, sector, and type of issue. Companies, investors and civil society are welcome to share cases by emailing [email protected]

 

 

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