Why renewable energy must be responsible energy
(Eco Business, 10 Mar 2023) The ESG issues arising from renewable energy must be fixed to ensure that mistakes of the past are not repeated in the future, says Saksham Nijhawan of Forum for the Future.
Clean electricity and hence renewable energy are the bedrocks of the ongoing – or forthcoming, depending on where you live – energy transition. Yet, the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues arising out of renewable energy development are not often examined.
From land use changes affecting local biodiversity to labour injustice, renewable power projects can have serious and adverse socio-economic consequences. They risk entrenching energy injustice, since the direct and indirect benefits they generate do not benefit the communities they most impact.
Several organisations including World Resources Institute (WRI) India, Forum for the Future, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Landesa, and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have jointly launched the Responsible Energy Initiative to shine the spotlight on this issue, and are calling for a transition to not only renewable energy but responsible energy.
Saksham Nijhawan is principal strategist, energy and climate change, at Forum for the Future, India.
“Many people are rooting for the rapid deployment of renewable energy (RE) in India, and believe that India can truly become one of the leaders in accelerating the energy transition and moving towards a resilient, low-carbon economy,” Nijhawan says. “None of us would like to see RE deployment slow down due to any land, technology, supply chain, workforce, or governance issues.”
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