Akordi awarded with the ‘Wind Power Deed of the Year’ prize: Green transition is not a matter of mere announcement

Akordi was awarded the ‘Wind Power Deed of the Year’ prize in the Wind Finland seminar 1.2.2024 in Oulu. The jury stressed the important role Akordi has played in mediating and building collaboration between Wind Power Industry and Reindeer Husbandry. The longstanding work has thus far resulted in a jointly created handbook of best practices for initiating and operating wind power in the Reindeer Herding area (which comprises one third of the surface of Finland). Akordi co-founder Jonna Kangasoja summarized in her speech some of the key insights gained so far:

1. The green transition is not a matter of mere announcement – especially at the local level, where the effects of various projects are seen, heard and felt – and where the effects of projects on land use, the environment and local communities are still being anticipated and feared.

2. Acceptability is an important production factor for wind power. If difficult issues are not resolved with those affected, project risks will result.

3. The realisation of the potential for conflict has an inverse effect on the realisation of the potential for wind power. Examples of this can be seen both domestically and in neighbouring regions.

4. The need to do something about this has already been recognised in Finland. But the means chosen, such as speeding up and streamlining the permitting process and increasing the resources of administrative courts, reflect the assumption that the number of conflicts is constant. However, it is precisely these means that may not be able to increase acceptability.

5. Flexible and conflict-preventive procedures based on negotiated cooperation and joint problem-solving between the parties should be added to the range of instruments at the latest now, while the weather is still good.

6. The award-winning work shows that these have a concrete impact – getting to know each other and getting along better has an impact on the smooth running of cooperation at project level.

7. The awarded procedures are scalable at national, regional and also project level wherever the anticipated or actual impacts of green transition projects are of concern and where the acceptability of the transition is being built.

8. Prevention is the best conflict resolution. It is the most effective, the cheapest and certainly more meaningful for all parties than the other options available.