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Accountability and dialogue in the renewable energy economy

A disturbingly large number of green energy projects boast a negative record, including land grabs, displacement of vulnerable communities, indigenous rights violations, violence against human rights defenders, and the destruction of unique ecosystems and sites of cultural and spiritual significance. Similar problems occur in the supply chain of some elements of the renewable energy economy.

These practices happen because of the lack of effective community engagement in the renewable energy sector. FPIC (Free, Prior and Informed Consent) processes are typically limited and inadequate. If the sector fails to address and reverse this situation, it will face growing resistance, widespread criticism and more risk. This would result in higher costs, erosion of public support and a slower energy transition. Impacted communities, responsible market players and society at large would suffer dire consequences.

ojuso is an effort to get community engagement right and to strengthen socio-environmental standards and accountability in the renewable energy economy. It will bring together communities, ethical market players (investors, banks, project developers, energy companies, equipment manufacturers), and concerned civil society (NGOs and academia) in a collective effort to:

  1. Provide information on the socio-economic impacts of renewable energy projects, with the goal of fostering best practices and preventing investment in destructive projects.

  2. Establish a direct channel for dialogue between communities and investors.

  3. Compile information on the cumulative impacts in the supply chain of renewable energy equipment and incentivize further research and innovation.

  4. Strengthen regulation and public pressure to sanction irresponsible practices.

  5. Foster collaborative models of renewable energy generation based on community leadership and positive socio-environmental outcomes.

The ojuso online platform will foster constructive solutions through collaboration, and expose unscrupulous market players. It is being developed by Yansa and the Gaia Foundation with support from the Swift Foundation and partners from indigenous communities, impact investment, philanthropy, academia and the renewable energy sector. We are looking for additional partners to launch the platform in mid-2017.