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First Nations peoples can play a critical role in renewable energy projects

Including First Nations peoples in energy projects on their Traditional Lands can have far-reaching positive impacts and be mutually beneficial.

When given the opportunity to self-determine their own futures, research has shown that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples thrive.

In Canada, around 20% of First Nations peoples have ownership and/or equity of renewable energy initiatives.

Canada has seen First Nations participation in renewable energy projects have profound impacts.

They found that First Nations inclusion in energy partnerships reduced the delay of energy projects, created local employment, had a more positive impact on the environment and made energy projects more sustainable overall.

How can this impact First Nations people in Australia?

Evidently, First Nations people can play a critical role in Australia's energy future.

Chris Croker is the co-chair of First Nations Clean Energy Network. The Luritja man said that Canada's model would thrive in Australia.

"Lessons from Canada have demonstrated the sound social and business logic for engaging with First Nations communities," Mr Croker said.

First Nations people want clean energy say

Co-chair Karrina Nolan says that targeted government policy and genuine investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can revolutionise the industry in Australia.

"The rights, interests and aspirations of First Nations peoples must be front and centre to achieve a just clean energy transformation," Ms Nolan said.

Listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners can ensure that free, prior and informed consent is given before energy projects are done on Country.

Minister of Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen told the Lowy Institute in November that including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can create jobs in our communities.

"Getting First Nations involvement in renewable energy right can play a big role in the future economic health of Australia's Indigenous peoples," the minister said.



This story first appeared on NITV/SBS