Chile’s denial of Dominga port project is a just energy transition victory and lesson (commentary)

Chile’s denial of Dominga port project is a just energy transition victory and lesson (commentary)

Imagine having to choose between having water or a mining project in your backyard. Or between having a job or polluting your community. What would you choose? This dichotomy is the choice that the people of La Higuera in northern Chile were proposed by Dominga’s project developers. However, this false framing – which is faced an innumerable number of times by communities around the globe – hides the fact that the people of La Higuera (and the world) should not have to choose between prosperity and healthy ecosystems; we can have – and deserve – both. Moving away from our current environmental and climate crises means moving beyond a trade-off between caring for our planet and caring for ourselves. The failure to recognize this interdependence brought us here in the first place. Last Wednesday, January 18, the Chilean committee of ministers rejected the port and mining project “Dominga.” Despite the fact that project representatives will appeal the decision in Chilean environmental courts, this is a strong signal against a project that exemplifies the tensions of the energy transition. The project jeopardized the livelihood of local communities, many of them Indigenous, and marine ecosystems surrounding the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve, a global biodiversity hotspot. Valued at $2.5 billion, Dominga consists of an iron and copper open-pit mine, a port for mineral exports, and a water desalination plant. Its history has been rife with controversy, from putting mining and fishing interest at odds to two rejections by environmental authorities, and a Supreme Court case.…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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