To meet the most ambitious 1.5º C climate goal requires a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels and mass use of renewables. However, new international research by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) warns that green energy projects can be as socially and environmentally conflictive as fossil fuel projects. While renewable energies are often portrayed as being environmentally sustainable, this new study cautions about the risks associated with the green energy transition, arguing for an integrated approach that redesigns energy systems in favor of social equity and environmental sustainability. The research, which analyzes protests over 649 energy projects, has been recently published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
The study, authored by an international group of researchers with a large presence of the ICTA-UAB and led by Dr. Leah Temper, from McGill University, draws on data from the