Extractive companies have had adverse impacts on a broad array of human rights, such as resettlement of communities without adequate consultation and compensation; environmental degradation and its effects on health, sources of livelihood and access to clean water; as well as charges of forced labor, rape and even extrajudicial killings by security forces protecting company assets, with some cases meeting the legal definition of corporate complicity.John Ruggie, Former UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights
Natural resources are at the beginning of every supply chain. Their development is essential to the production of energy, consumer goods and food. This means that there are high stakes involved in their use, development and depletion. Natural resources can therefore be a great source of wealth for both governments and local communities, and bring benefits to all citizens. In practice, however, investments in oil, gas, coal, minerals, renewable energy, and large-scale agriculture are often entwined with human rights abuses. This is particularly the case in some of the world’s poorest – but most resource-rich – countries. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, it is the responsibility of the companies developing these resources, as well as their buyers and investors, to safeguard the human rights of workers and communities affected by their activities.
In this “Big Issue” area, discover sector-specific analysis, initiatives, and news coverage.
Just energy transition
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.
Shared prosperity models & Indigenous leadership for a just transition
News and resources from Indigenous Peoples Rights International and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, exploring the significant opportunity of Indigenous co-ownership of renewable energy projects, for an energy transition that is fast, just, and equitable.
Learning from success in renewable energy: Indigenous leadership & shared prosperity
Joan Carling and Phil Bloomer underscore the golden opportunity we have to deliver true, shared prosperity, with good jobs, resilient livelihoods, healthier environments and thriving communities.
Renewable Energy and Human Rights Benchmark
This first global human rights benchmark examines the human rights policies of 15 of largest wind and solar companies.
Transition Minerals Tracker
Tracking the human rights implications of the mineral boom powering the transition to a low-carbon economy
Investing in renewable energy to power a just transition
Investors should influence the development of a renewable energy industry that respects human rights, including through its mineral supply chains