Statement on Claims of Forced Labor in the Solar Industry
Friday, Jan 08 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):
“The latest reports from the New York Times story are deeply troubling. This is the first allegation we’ve seen directly linking the solar industry to abhorrent forced labor practices, and we take these claims very seriously.
“We’ve said it before and will say it again: we are disgusted by these practices, and forced labor has no place in the solar industry. These claims are a direct contrast to our values and how we strive to operate as an industry. We expect our companies to hold themselves to the highest standards possible when it comes to the environment and health and safety of their workers, and many embrace strict operating standards.
“Since the fall, we’ve been proactively telling all solar companies operating in the Xinjiang region to immediately move their supply chains. We’d like to reiterate this call to action and ask all solar companies to immediately leave the Xinjiang region.
“Last month, we launched a proactive effort to ensure the solar supply chain does not include forced labor practices. This includes creating traceability protocols for products in the solar supply chain and a comprehensive update to the Solar Commitment, which defines expectations for how solar companies should operate throughout the value chain. It also includes a pledge solar companies should sign to directly oppose forced labor practices. More than 115 solar companies have already signed the pledge and we call on all solar companies to join us as we continue to actively oppose forced labor.
“The solar industry continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in America and employs over 250,000 Americans. We are committed to ethical operations and will do everything in our power to ensure we can all be proud of this industry’s efforts to combat climate change and lead our economic recovery.”
Solar companies can sign SEIA’s pledge to oppose forced labor and raise awareness on this important issue.
The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) is leading the transformation to a clean energy economy, creating the framework for solar to achieve 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies and other strategic partners to fight for policies that create jobs in every community and shape fair market rules that promote competition and the growth of reliable, low-cost solar power. Founded in 1974, SEIA is a national trade association building a comprehensive vision for the Solar+ Decade through research, education and advocacy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
Jen Bristol, SEIA's Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 556-2886