Renewable energy's human rights record

The transition to a net-zero carbon economy is imperative but cannot come at the expense of the most vulnerable. This first global human rights benchmark examines the human rights policies of 16 of largest wind and solar companies.

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre compiled the benchmark, revealing that none of the companies analysed are currently fully meeting their full responsibility to respect human rights, as defined by the UN Guiding Principles.

Nearly half the companies benchmarked (7/16) scored below 10 per cent, with three quarters (12/16) scoring below 40 per cent, indicating that, as a whole, the industry has a long way to go to demonstrate its respect for the human rights of communities and workers in their operations and supply chains.

The widespread and egregious practice of land grabs, for example, is reflected in the fact that no companies scored points for having policies to respect land rights, to govern their process of land acquisition, or on just and fair relocation of residents.

In the top quartile for best practice are Iberdrola, Acciona, Orsted and Enel. The second quartile has EDP, EDF, Engie and E.ON. The third quartile comprises of RWE, Jinko Solar, Blackrock, NextEra, and the final quartile lists Brookfield, The Southern Company, China General Nuclear Power Corp and PowerChina.

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