The Responsible Energy Initiative (REI) is a multi-year, multi-country programme working to ensure renewable energy in Asia achieves its full potential and creates value in a way that is ecologically safe, rights-respecting and socially just.

Learn more about REI India

Learn more about REI Philippines

The Challenge

The rise of renewables brings great promise for our ability to tackle the climate emergency. Scaling renewable energy (RE) is critical to the rapid transition to a low carbon economy. RE has the potential to expand access to affordable, clean energy; create jobs and help economies to thrive; and reduce air pollution, a primary concern for urban citizens in Asia.

This is a critical moment in the development of the sector, particularly in Asia. RE is scaling rapidly; financing models are shifting from public to private; and policy and regulatory mechanisms are changing. Economic stimulus packages are being developed to support recovery from COVID-19 with many recovery packages focused on building the industries we need to ride the shocks of the future, including renewable energy.

At the same time, we are seeing significant environmental and social risks emerge in the RE value chains. As the industry grows, these risks may also grow.

Building a responsible renewable energy sector

Unless the risks are addressed, the growth of the sector may be put in jeopardy – an unacceptable outcome from a climate perspective. Equally, poor practices could become in-built into the industry. Consequently, it will be harder for the sector to drive fair and just social transitions to a low carbon future.

How can the sector fully live up to its potential to drive positive social and environmental outcomes? What is the role of investors, developers, manufacturers, large procurers and others in the sector in collectively shaping a just and regenerative future for the sector?

Our contribution

The Responsible Energy Initiative seeks to enable the RE sector in Asia to adopt business models and value chains keeping justice, equity, universal rights and resilient ecological systems at their core. We are working to deliver these outcomes through futures-led collaborative inquiries in Asia - in India, the Philippines, and other countries in Southeast Asia.

Responsible Energy Initiative: key objectives and outcomes

Together with pioneering stakeholders from across the RE sector, REI is working to:

  • Collaboratively set a vision of a responsible RE sector, and principles by which to act;
  • Establish a systemic understanding of the environmental, social and governance risks along the value chain; the implications of inaction; the root causes and barriers to transformative action and; ways of addressing them including opportunities to shift mindsets and behaviours;
  • Identify ways to transform business models, practices, decision-making mechanisms and power dynamics so that the sector is better placed to deliver value for both society and shareholders;
  • Make interventions that demonstrate a shift in business models, practices and  other means of influencing the wider system towards the vision. These shifts will be in both how the renewable energy industry responds to its environmental and social impacts, and how it catalyses a sector-wide pivot towards driving a deep positive transformation; and,
  • Support the scaling of approaches that accelerate responsible renewable energy by sharing multi-country learning and insights, and engaging a wider group of stakeholders.

By becoming a responsible renewable energy sector, with an ambition to go far beyond ‘doing no harm’ and champion planetary health and resilient communities, it will be better able to secure its license to operate, ensure consistent access to finance and drive a just transition to clean energy.

Learning and insights

Follow the Responsible Energy Initiative on Medium for the latest insights from the programme.

Join the conversation on Medium

Learn more about the impact the Initiative has achieved thus far in our case study tracking the coverage and next steps of the programme.

Read the case study

Get in touch

If you are interested to find out how you can support the Responsible Energy Initiative, write to Saksham Nijhawan, Principal Strategist [email protected] to learn more about the initiative.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Responsible Energy Initiative in the Philippines, write to Cynthia Morel, Principal Strategist [email protected].