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Shifting to green energy together with Indigenous Peoples

Date and time

Monday 15. May 2023 at 14:00 to 17:00

Registration Deadline

Saturday 13. May 2023 at 12:00


CBS - Solbjerg Plads 3 - Room SPs05 Nykredit Aud., Solbjerg Plads 3 - Room SPs05 Nykredit Aud., 2000 Frederiksberg CBS - Solbjerg Plads 3 - Room SPs05 Nykredit Aud.
Solbjerg Plads 3 - Room SPs05 Nykredit Aud.
2000 Frederiksberg

Shifting to green energy together with Indigenous Peoples

Event Description



Shifting to green energy together with Indigenous Peoples

15 May 2023

Time: 14-17

Photo: Ole-Henrik Kappfjell



Wind Power projects in Norway, Kenya and Colombia have experienced strong opposition from Indigenous Peoples[1]. In principle, Indigenous Peoples are not against the green transition. They are however critical to the way green projects are developed on their territories.

Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) is organizing this event to discuss lessons learned from three wind energy cases: the Lake Turkana case in Kenya, the Fosen Case in Norway and the La Guajira case in Colombia. The panelists will explore alternative solutions and opportunities for better engagement and inclusion of indigenous peoples in wind energy projects, from the planning to the development and the implementation phases.

In 2016 and 2006 respectively the constructions of Wind Power projects started in Norway and Kenya. In both places court cases were filed by indigenous peoples against the wind projects. In both instances, the indigenous peoples won the court cases. In Colombia, 15 wind energy projects are facing delays due to the consultation process. Furthermore, the consultation process for the transmission line's construction is being challenged by the Wayúu indigenous people.

How to understand the seemingly very similar situations in the otherwise different countries? What are the common issues? How could the court cases have been avoided? What claims did the indigenous peoples put forward? How can companies act to avoid court cases in the future?

Ikal Ang’elei, Director of Friends of Lake Turkana (FOLT) and Rune Fjellheim, senior advisor in the Saami Council and Vice Chair of the IWGIA board, will be introducing the perspectives from indigenous peoples in Kenya and Norway. Jacobo Ramirez, associate professor from CBS will present a case from Colombia where he conducted a research and information visit and discussed with Indigenous Peoples.

Ørsted will share their own experiences from the different project phases, the challenges they meet around indigenous peoples’ rights and the opportunities they see in working together with them. Danish Industries, DI, will present a current case in Colombia.

Investors, namely the Danish development fund, IFU, and AkademikerPension will also share their policies and relate them to concrete cases of both positive choices of investing in a specific project and examples where they have chosen not to invest due to issues of lack of respect for human rights.

Indigenous peoples demand that companies and governments respect their rights. An increasing number of Indigenous peoples are aware of the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Convention 169 of the ILO, and many other international instruments that guarantee their Free, Prior, and Informed Consents (FPIC). But in reality, FPIC is still lacking in most cases, including when it comes to green development. Many private companies and investors have also recognised the importance of FPIC but unfortunately are experiencing many challenges in its implementation. How can indigenous peoples and the private sector join forces to ensure a good process when it comes to FPIC?

The processes in the various guidelines are not only something relevant for the companies but also very much for the Indigenous communities. We must respect both parties. Indigenous peoples’ representatives might need time to go back to their communities to settle the collective opinions and wishes. In other words, could we get closer to an understanding between the two sides of the green projects and try to get a clearer understanding of the full circle of interests in them.



Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

Room SPs05

Solbjerg Pl. 3, 2000 Frederiksberg Denmark



14.00- 14.10: Welcoming remarks

Hanne Harmsen, Vice Dean for Green Transition, CBS

Kathrin Wessendorf, Director, IWGIA

14.10 - 14.45: First panel on Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives– Moderator Elifuraha Laltaika, Senior Law Lecturer at Tumaini University Makumira, Tanzania, IWGIA Board member 

Ikal Ang’elei, Director Friends of Lake Turkana (FOLT), on the Turkana Wind Power Project in Kenya (8 min)

Rune Fjellheim, Vice Chair IWGIA Board, and Senior advisor to the Sami Council, on the Fosen Wind case in Norway (8 min)

Jacobo Ramirez, Associate professor at CBS on the Guajira case in Colombia (8 min)

10 minutes for questions from moderator Second panel on Business and Investors policies, challenges and opportunities - Moderator Karin Buhmann, Professor, Copenhagen Business School 

Anders Johannes Enghild, Head of Strategic Social Programmes, Ørsted (7 min)

Birgitte Bang Nielsen, Sustainability Director, Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) (7 min)

Troels Børrild, Head of responsible investments, AkademikerPension (7 min)

Jesper Friis, Head of Programming, Danish Industries (7 min)

10 minutes for questions from moderator

15.25 -15.35: Statement from Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy

15.35- 15.45: Coffee break

15.45- 16.20: Third panel dialogue between Indigenous Peoples, Business and Investors – Moderator Sara Krüger Falk, Director, Global Compact: Ikal Ang’elei, Rune Fjellheim, Elifuraha Laltaika, Anders Johannes Enghild, Birgitte Bang Nielsen, Troels Børrild

16.20- 16.50: Questions from the participants – Moderator IWGIA

16.50-17.00: Concluding remarks 

Kathrin Wessendorf, Director, IWGIA

Hanne Harmsen, Vice Dean for Green Transition, CBS

17.00: Reception with snacks and drinks after the debate to encourage further dialogues between the panelists and the participants.

Event Location

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Organizer Contact Information

Copenhagen Business School

Phone: +45 3815 3815

Organizer Contact Information

Copenhagen Business School

Phone: +45 3815 3815