Fast & Fair Permitting: Bridging Progress and Community Trust
Moderator: Perrine Toledano, CCSI, Director of Research and Policy
Jackson Shaa, Executive Director, Narasha Community Development Group
Ana Belen Sanchez, JTI, MITECO
Aida García, Advisor - Renewables - 2030 Framework Lead at Eurelectric
Joe Williams, Director of Strategy and Communications, GH2
Climate change poses one of the gravest threats to our planet. To mitigate this impending disaster, there is an undeniable urgency to scale up renewable energy sources such as hydropower, solar, wind, and green hydrogen infrastructure. However, in many regions globally, the lengthy approval processes impede the timely execution of these projects. Addressing this gap is imperative.
Fast and fair permitting of renewable energy and green hydrogen infrastructure is critical to avoiding climate disaster. Good policy practices and technological tools are emerging across the world that can be scaled up and shared across jurisdictions.
Two core tenets stand out: community engagement and benefit-sharing mechanisms.
The focus is on emphasizing the need for cohesive government policies that respect and integrate the viewpoints of communities affected by these projects. A pivotal aspect of this integration is fostering direct community benefits, which not only ensures just treatment but also fortifies support vital for project advancement.
This webinar aimed to delve deeper into the challenges and solutions associated with public and community perceptions of renewable energy and green hydrogen projects. Recognizing that without public support and community consent, the development of renewable projects may not be sustainable, the aim is to emphasize the importance of early and continuous community engagement. This includes understanding their concerns, introducing clear policy approaches, and conducting preliminary surveys to measure community attitudes towards proposed projects.
Furthermore, it discussed how addressing community concerns about the potential impacts of such projects is crucial. The webinar also highlighted the need for well-regulated benefit-sharing mechanisms, which include strategies such as auctions, community development agreements, the provision of local benefits like employment and skills development, etc. We explored the significance of community consultations and co-design in crafting benefit-sharing plans, the critical role of effective grievance mechanisms, the promise of shared community ownership for equitable project benefits, and forward-thinking strategies for benefit-sharing as renewable projects approach their lifecycle’s conclusion.