Call for COP27 to Address “Critical Human Rights Concerns”

Current energy security threats risk “drown[ing] out critical human rights concerns” at next month’s COP27, according to an investor guide published by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. The NGO’s guide highlights the key human rights risks and impacts associated with the renewable energy sector, especially in regard to human rights defenders and Indigenous Peoples. Between 2010 and 2021, one of the most serious and commonly occurring human rights issues in the renewables sector was the failure to respect the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous Peoples, a right protected under international law, the report noted. It also highlighted land rights abuses, with 56% of all attacks against human rights defenders relating to taking action on violations of land rights. Further, 31% of all abuse allegations in the wind sector related to FPIC issues, and 23% of all individual abuse allegations of abuse related to land rights. Jessie Cato, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre’s Natural Resources and Human Rights Programme Manager, said: “As investors move to fill the investment gap, they must be aware of the human rights issues emerging in the sector and risking the clean energy transition. While renewable energy holds the key to our global future, it is far from immune to the human rights violations which have historically plagued the fossil fuel industry.” 

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