The human causes of climate change are now firmly established, but the human response and impacts, are still very much to be determined. There are no silver-bullet solutions, nor is there clear responsibility for any single actor. For example, who should be accountable for the reskilling of employees, and who should bear this cost?
We need to consider the social implications of renewables technology, construction and operations as their role in our energy system increases. There have been numerous allegations of human-rights abuses at renewables companies, primarily related to project construction, ranging from intimidation of workers, to indigenous rights and land-rights disputes.
As always, collaborative action between all stakeholders – governments, corporates, investors, NGOs (non-governmental organisations), trade unions, and employees – would be ideal. But what does this mean in practice? And how can this collaboration be facilitated? It is clear that this will not be a simple task, nor one that any single stakeholder can achieve this individually. It is a deeply political, cultural and social challenge, but it is a challenge which must be addressed as we continue to shape the way climate change develops, and the human impacts it will have.
Rebecca White, responsible investment analyst, Newton Investment Management.
Doc ID: 670847