For the world to reach net zero emissions, huge fields of solar panels and towering wind turbines will need to cover vast tracts of the Earth. In much of the world, that means building in places where Indigenous people live and have rights to the land.
That’s the case in Australia, where development has sometimes been undertaken without the support from local communities. Mining for iron-ore and minerals has helped make the rest of Australia rich, while Aboriginal communities are often some of the poorest in the country.
But a new proposal to build one of the largest renewable energy projects in the world has set out to change that dynamic—putting forward what it calls a “new model” for the way companies partner with Aboriginal people.