Addressing The Climate Emergency
Victory for indigenous women in Mexico who are fighting for a just energy transition.
After years of advocacy, the Zapoteca indigenous community of Unión Hidalgo in Mexico achieved a significant victory over a transnational company that had failed to deliver a just energy transition. On 3 June 2022, Mexican authorities cancelled a large wind energy project that Electricité de France (EDF), a transnational French energy company, was planning to build on their territory without their participation or free, prior and informed consent. For several years, the community had denounced human rights abuses committed by those developing the energy project. These disproportionately affected indigenous women and girls, and included loss of access to their land and to natural resources on which their and their families’ livelihoods depended. GI-ESCR was privileged to collaborate with ProDESC, a local organisation in Mexico that has led litigation and advocacy in defence of the indigenous community of Unión Hidalgo since 2019. To combat the escalating climate emergency, it is necessary to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy but also to deliver a gender-just transition that protects the planet and its people. The case of Unión Hidalgo is paradigmatic because it reflects the structural problems that commonly occur during energy transition processes, and specifically highlights the fact that capital-intensive renewable energy projects may have adverse human rights impacts on communities, notably women.