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Why better community engagement is key to the future of clean tech

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on TIME or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: As the U.S. shifts towards clean energy, project developers are grappling with how to gain local community support, which can be difficult to obtain
• Research has shown that engaging local communities in clean energy projects can be beneficial not only for addressing the real-world concerns of the people, but also for the long-term success of the project

🔭 The context: Texas's established energy infrastructure makes it a potential hub for transitioning into clean energy
• However, local resistance to new projects, often labeled as NIMBYism ("not in my backyard"), stems from real and historical concerns, particularly the adverse impact of decades of fossil fuel projects in the area on human health

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Clean energy's success is critical for addressing the climate crisis
• Ensuring projects are embraced by local communities is essential for their sustainability and to meet global climate targets

⏭️ What's next: With funds from the Inflation Reduction Act, project developers urgently need to win local communities' trust
• The debate is ongoing about how deep and genuine community engagement should be

💬 One quote: “Community engagement should not just be a box to check off. It should be crucial from design to implementation,” (Catherine Coleman Flowers, Founder of Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice)

📈 One stat: A study in 2022 revealed that nearly 30% of failed clean-energy projects were due to insufficient local community engagement

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