The opportunity of renewable energy should and can be available to all. But we know for many communities that affordable, secure and clean power is not yet a reality.
Members from Friends of the Earth were privileged to join an online webinar on the 30th November, 2022 for the launch of the First Nations Clean Energy Network's Ten Principles for Clean Energy Projects.
The First Nations Clean Energy Network (FNCEN) was formed to ensure First Nations People play a central role in Australia’s renewable energy transition, and to make sure this transition occurs fairly for First Nations people and communities.
The Ten Principles provide First Nations communities with guidance about how to engage with medium or large scale renewable energy projects proposed on or near their land and waters. According to the FNCEN, the Principles will also be helpful for all groups involved in developing renewable energy projects to make sure this happens in a collaborative and respectful way.
“With the clean energy industry now constructing medium to large scale projects on our land, these guides will help communities to skill up and share in the benefits, while ensuring there are strong measures in place to protect land, water and sacred sites” said Yorta Yorta woman Karrina Nolan, Executive Director of Original Power and FNCEN steering group member.
“First Nations communities have the right to self-determine what happens on their country and by providing principled and practical advice they can ensure clean energy projects are designed to provide meaningful jobs, economic benefits and reliable, clean energy”.
The Ten principles cover such things as ensuring projects provide economic and social benefits, mutual respect, cultural and environmental considerations and employment opportunities.
The Principles highlight best practice and reflect local conditions and legislation, as well as international frameworks and norms for engagement with First Nations communities.
Respectful engagement with First Nations communities must occur from the initial planning stage of any clean energy development and throughout the project’s life-cycle. Developers and investors must ensure that future owners also adhere to this principle.
First Nations People have looked after Country for thousands of years, and are playing a leading role in making sure the transition to renewable energy is good for land, water and cultural heritage.
Friends of the Earth is committed to the principles set out by the First Nations Network and will continue to place ourselves in solidarity with First Nations People.