In the rush to scale-up renewables, is a just transition being achieved?
There is an urgent need for a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels to a renewable energy system that provides for everyone. But how to protect people’s rights, livelihoods and the local environment in the process? In a week when Greta Thunberg complained about “green colonialism,” Friends of the Earth International release case studies around solar energy in India, Palestine, and Bangladesh, and lithium mining in Argentina.
Similar problems are revealed in the Northeast of Brazil by Attilio Zolin of Fundo Casa Socioambiental. Combine with viewing this video on strengthening indigenous territorial rights in the Brazilian Amazon (in Portuguese.) At least some good news for environmental defenders as Belize ratified the Escazu Agreement.
One positive sign of accountability from Indonesia where palm oil tycoon Darmadi was sentenced to 15 years for corruption and ordered to repay the state equivalent of $2.6bn over corruption scheme that cleared protected forests. Perhaps the biggest deforestation corruption case yet.
Turning to Europe, leading human rights and environmental organizations are calling on European policymakers to ensure the upcoming Critical Raw Materials Act - the draft proposal of which is expected next week from the European Commission – protects human rights and the environment. The Act should as well introduce systemic measures that decrease demand for newly extracted minerals.
Staying with regulations, the OECD analyzes ways to strengthen Latin America’s legal and regulatory frameworks for sustainability disclosure, the responsibilities of company boards and shareholder rights. Further north in the United States, listen to how a push for corporate climate disclosures in California could influence disclosures in the rest of the U.S.