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Report: War on Want explores supply and demand solutions for renewable energy minerals

"A Material Transition: Exploring supply and demand solutions for renewable energy minerals," April 2021

There is an urgent need to deal with the potential widespread destruction and human rights abuses that could be unleashed by the extraction of transition minerals: the materials needed at high volumes for the production of renewable energy technologies. Although it is crucial to tackle the climate crisis, and rapidly transition away from fossil fuels, this transition cannot be achieved by expanding our reliance on other materials...

This report includes in-depth studies written by frontline organisations in Indonesia and Philippines directly resisting nickel mining in both countries respectively. These exclusive case studies highlight the threats, potential impacts and worrying trends associated with nickel mining and illustrate, in detail, the landscape for mining expansion in the region. Supply-side and demand-side solutions are both necessary to mitigate harm caused from the mining of transition minerals. There is hope in the form of different initiatives that aim to apply due diligence along the supply chain. However, the sheer number of these laws and schemes means that consolidation and coordination are desperately required...

What is needed first and foremost is a global effort to bringing together those most affected by the problems at the heart of transition minerals. Such a process should focus on those three key areas; international solidarity with those impacted by transition minerals; advancing initiatives needed to ensure fair and just global supply chains for renewable energy technologies; and pushing for the fundamental societal changes needed to reduce unsustainable material consumption. These three actions would be a key stepping stone towards the transformation needed, in the UK, Europe, and globally.