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First Nations communities need clean energy security

One of the themes at the 26th World Energy Congress in Rotterdam from 22-25 April 2024 will be clean energy security for First Nations communities. 

Communities in Canada have been adversely affected over many years by fossil fuel industry projects, while remote communities in Australia deal with unreliable and often dirty power sources. 

Everyone is feeling the effects of climate change.

Co-Chair of the First Nations Clean Energy Network Karrina Nolan is attending the Congress to speak.

Karrina says our communities haven’t been centred nearly enough in the energy transition and this is a moment to do it differently.

"When really genuine engagement and consent of First Nations communities is done well, the projects actually look considerably different, they can benefit communities, and they can be sustainable for generations to come."

She’s being joined there by Melina Laboucan-Massimo of Sacred Earth Solar who says in so-called Canada, there is currently close to 3000 Indigenous-led projects from small to medium size and up to 300 large scale revenue-generating projects that have Indigenous participation and Indigenous ownership.

Melina says what renewable energy is bringing to Indigenous communities is an energy sovereignty and energy security they had not seen before.

"That’s why we see such an uptake because it really allows Indigenous communities to lead the way out of the climate crisis ideally and to be more resilient in the face of the climate crisis."

Karrina is presenting at the Congress on 'Faster, Fairer, Further: Decarbonisation With Justice’ on 23 April. This session asks: How can we embed equity and justice in the move towards clean energy transitions in all world regions?

This story was first published by Radio National.