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🗞️ Driving the news: For the Pankararu, a group of indigenous people in northeastern Brazil, tranquility has become a rare commodity due to the constant humming of 52 wind turbines installed on their land without their consent by the Italian energy company: Enel
🔭 The context: While renewable energies are being embraced worldwide as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change, the transition has not been without controversy
• Indigenous groups and other local communities frequently feel marginalized by clean energy projects, arguing for more substantial roles to ensure a just green future
🌎 Why it matters for the planet: The proliferation of wind farms is a crucial component in the global shift from fossil fuels to combat climate change
• However, the balance between environmental protection and respecting indigenous rights is a contentious issue, with companies and governments criticized for disregarding local peoples in project developments.
⏭️ What's next: Enel states that it is working with Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency, Funai, to develop an “Indigenous Basic Environmental Project” for the Pankararu and has made donations to the community over the years
• However, Pankararu leader, Zenivaldo Bezerra, argues that these measures don’t compensate for the damage caused by the wind farm to their territory
💬 One quote: “They [Enel] are offering compensations,” Bezerra said. “Those, in my opinion, don’t pay for even 10 percent of the damage they caused in our territory and continue to cause to this day.”
📈 One stat: Since a change in Brazilian regulation during a 2001 energy crisis, wind power has grown from contributing less than 1 percent of the energy produced in Brazil to around 8 percent in 2022, making it second only to hydro in Brazil’s power mix.
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