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Prof. Aseem Prakash on Forbes, "Greta Thunberg Joins Indigenous Communities In Opposing Wind Energy: How To Address Community Opposition To Renewable Projects"

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on March 2, 2023 - 11:58am

Prof. Aseem Prakash and colleague Prof. Nives Dolšak warn in a new Forbes article that climate action will face headwinds from areas where projects will be centered.

"This week Greta Thunberg joined the protests in Norway against wind farms that power 100,000 Norwegian households but operate on land used by Indigenous Sámi reindeer herders.

Opposition to renewable projects is sprouting in many places, including rural U.S. counties seeking to restrict (and sometimes ban) solar and wind farms. Similar rural opposition to utility-scale renewables has emerged in other countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and South Korea.

Climate groups have been late to acknowledge the issue of “just transition” and climate adaptation. If decarbonization needs to accelerate—which it should—the climate movement needs to build local (as opposed to elite) consensus on decarbonization issues. The role of rural communities where the new infrastructure will be built is critical. But, if rural areas oppose hosting renewables, which will supply electricity to urban users, decarbonization will face a formidable hurdle. Climate groups will need to focus on listening to different voices, and thoughtfully co-developing solutions, which will invariably include compromises and concessions. The pivot from agitating to building consensus is necessary because otherwise the movement will find itself defending the unpopular, maybe even unjust dimension of climate transition."

Please link here for the full article.