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Article

14 Nov 2022

Author:
Mining and the Energy Transition Declaration signatories

COP27: Declaration encourages prioritizing low-impact circular economy solutions that reduce overall demand for transition minerals

"Declaration on Mining and the Energy Transition", Nov 2022

We, the undersigned organizations, support a just and rapid transition away from fossil fuels and towards a renewable energy system. We are concerned about the impacts of extracting minerals, such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper for renewable energy technologies on communities, workers and ecosystems around the world. Minerals demand for renewable energy technologies is projected to skyrocket, particularly for battery metals being used in electric vehicles—and the associated environmental and human impacts are likely to rise steeply as well. Metals mining is one of the world’s dirtiest industries, responsible for at least 10% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Mining is linked to environmental destruction, freshwater contamination and depletion, human rights abuses, forced displacement, loss of livelihood, violent conflict, unsafe working conditions, and illicit financial flows in many parts of the world. It increasingly poses threats to ocean health through the risky practice of mine waste dumping and deep-sea mining... Mining, including for battery minerals such as cobalt, lithium and nickel causes disproportionate harm to Indigenous Peoples... Centering the human rights of Indigenous, frontline communities, and workers at mining, recycling, reclamation, manufacturing and renewable energy projects, by prioritizing the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, including the right to withhold consent as aligned with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Prioritizing low-impact circular economy solutions that reduce the overall demand for primary metals such as reuse, reduction, recycling, and design for disassembly while ensuring health and safety protections for workers and communities.

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