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Scaling renewable energy (RE) is critical to the rapid transition to a low carbon economy. RE has the potential to expand access to affordable, clean energy; create jobs and help economies to thrive by increasing resilience; and reduce air pollution, among many other opportunities.
At the same time, adverse environmental and human rights impacts across RE value chains are becoming more pronounced. As the industry grows, these risks - including land and labour rights abuses, habitat impacts, toxic waste and unsustainable use of raw materials - could also grow.
In Asia, where RE has the greatest potential to scale, tackling these adverse social and environmental impacts will be critical to ensuring that sector thrives in ways that deliver just and regenerative outcomes. Equally, if ignoring these impacts means that irresponsible practices become entrenched in business models and value chains, we will miss the opportunity for the RE sector to meet its potential.
In India and the Philippines - two Asian countries with ambitious RE targets - the Responsible Energy Initiative convenes market actors (developers, manufacturers, procurers and financiers) together with public policy makers and civil society, to collectively:
- Understand where and why adverse ecological and social impacts are occurring, and the barriers to tackling them effectively;
- Align on principles and commit to responsible practices in the production of RE and deployment of RE technologies;
- Prototype interventions that will translate principles into action; and
- Share learning with the wider field to build a global authoritative standard of policy and practice that enables the RE sector to support an ecologically safe and just transition to a low carbon future.
For more information on our project, do refer to our Project Webpage.