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Sharing Power, Spreading Wealth: Net Zero & Equity

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The next industrial revolution has begun, and it’s a green one. The shift to renewable energy generation is crucial to tackle the climate emergency and presents a unique opportunity to deliver economic and social justice to support thriving and resilient communities. However, this shift will fail to deliver a socially just transition and achieve the transformation required if it models itself on the extractive industries of previous energy systems. This event examines the lack of lasting socio-economic benefit retained in Wales from renewables developments, particularly felt in former coalfield communities, and calls for a series of policy changes to allow communities to have a greater stake in local developments, retaining benefits generated from their local resources.

Generations of coal mining has left a legacy of sustained environmental and economic damage to Wales, as such the nation has much to teach the rest of the UK about the impacts of extractive practices. We must also learn from the analogous experiences of indigenous communities from a global lens. Learning from successful international examples of collaboration between indigenous communities and private renewables developers, we show how economic resources can be fairly redistributed to communities.

Working collaboratively with communities is essential to restore trust. The renewables sector can earn strong public and local support through a meaningful commitment to redistribute wealth and agency to host communities. In this discussion, we will examine measures to apply a climate justice approach to renewable energy developments that allows for economic redistribution and wealth creation.

Part of our 2024 festival strand


How can we respond to the climate crisis and biosphere collapse?