Business Guide: Respecting the Human Rights of Communities in Wind and Solar Project Deployment

Dolton-Zborowski, Sarah; Szoke-Burke, Sam

Wind and solar energy are essential for the world to reach net zero global emissions in accordance with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change targets and to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) around the world. In the last ten years, the global installed capacity of renewable energy has more than doubled, with wind and solar energy leading this growth. Yet amidst this rapid expansion there have been increasing allegations of wind and solar energy companies’ involvement in adverse human rights impacts, particularly with respect to the rights of Indigenous Peoples, other local communities, and human rights defenders.

This Business Guide provides companies with information and strategies to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for adverse human rights impacts that they cause, contribute to, or are directly linked to through their operations, products, or services by virtue of their business relationships. It may also be useful for investors, business partners, government actors, civil society organizations, communities, and other stakeholders. Drawing on the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, the Guide provides practical recommendations, with over 40 examples from peer companies and initiatives, on the core elements of a comprehensive human rights program that should be integrated throughout wind and solar energy companies’ business operations to improve their respect for community-related human rights and manage actual and potential risks both proactively and reactively.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Published Here
April 20, 2022