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Russia: Arctic peoples appeal to Elon Musk for Nornickel boycott

"Russian Arctic Peoples Appeal to Elon Musk for Nornickel Boycott", 7 August 2020.

A group of indigenous people in Russia are asking Tesla Inc’s Elon Musk to stop buying supplies from miner MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC until the company compensates them for environmental damage to their ancestral lands...

The group is asking Nornickel to assess the damage from a massive fuel spill in the Arctic earlier this year, revise its policies toward indigenous peoples and to re-cultivate contaminated areas in the Taymyr Peninsula and Murmansk Oblast, where the company’s operations are based... The appeal comes after Musk last month promised a “giant contract” to companies mining nickel in an environmentally sensitive way.

The letter adds to pressure on the Russian mining giant, which has long been criticized for its environmental record...Russia’s northern indigenous populations are finding their traditional lifestyle under threat from climate change and development. Warmer temperatures are making access to remote areas reliant on frozen roads more unreliable, while pollution from projects to extract the area’s resources have impacted local fish and wildlife that locals rely upon for food.

A spokesperson for Nornickel declined to immediately comment on the letter.

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