With many in Asia still dependent on farming and fishing

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  • 10 Sep 2019 12:00 AM
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Clean Energy or Food? Asian Nations Grapple With New Demands on Land

Huge renewable energy projects planned in Asia, such as solar parks and hydropower dams, risk accelerating the conversion of farmland, uprooting communities and destroying livelihoods, energy experts and human rights activists have warned. According to Britain-based human rights group Global Witness, more than three people were killed each week last year while protecting their land from encroaching industries. As they look to curb climate changing emissions, some of the most rapid transitions to renewable energy are taking place in countries such as China, India and across Southeast Asia. But with many in the region still dependent on farming and fishing, there is a real risk that large-scale renewable energy projects will change land use and hurt poor communities, said Harjeet Singh, global climate change lead at charity ActionAid. He has warned that there will be significant implications for farmers, indigenous communities, ecosystems and water sources and that there is a need to ensure the new solutions do not create different injustices, inequalities and further environmental destruction.

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