Martin-Ortega: ‘without a just transition there will be no fast transition’
If investors do not ensure a just transition then it will not be a fast transition as they will face resistance from communities and workers, the head of natural resources and just transition at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has warned.
Speaking in a Better World Interview with Net Zero Investor, sponsored by CCLA, Olga Martin-Ortega outlined that investors have a “significant responsibility” to invest in renewable energy to ensure a transition to a low carbon economy, but also have a “strong responsibility to respect human rights” in the process.
“Investors have the opportunity to influence the development of the renewable energy industry that respects human rights – while simultaneously securing sustainable investments, in addition to benefits for communities and a just transition to clean energy," she noted.
Martin-Ortega added that “we can’t have a fast transition without a just transition and a fair transition” as otherwise renewable projects will face community and worker resistance."
This led Martin-Ortega to warn that “[the transition] won’t happen if this is not a transition that includes everyone."
During the interview, she highlighted that the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has four main recommendations to investors and banks to ensure a just energy transition.
These include committing to rights-respecting investments, actively engaging with investee companies, undertaking inclusive human rights and environmental due diligence and publicly supporting emerging legislation on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence and stronger legal guarantees on the protection of human rights.