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Article

4 Fév 2021

Auteur:
Amnesty

Amnesty launches new principles for business and governments in the battery value chain

"Powering Change: Principles for Businesses and Governments in the Battery Value Chain", 4 February 2021

Climate change is not only the great environmental emergency of our time, but also an unprecedented human rights crisis. It threatens a wide range of human rights, including the rights to water, to health, and to life itself. One of the key measures that governments must take to tackle this crisis is to urgently drive the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and green technologies. Fossil fuels – like coal, gas, and oil – all release CO2 into the atmosphere when burned, and thus contribute to increasing global temperatures.

Central to this shift is a massive increase in the use of rechargeable batteries to power electric vehicles and renewable energy storage units. These batteries are already widely used to power mobile phones, laptops, tablets, cameras, power tools, and other electronic devices. But this shift – which is already underway and gathering speed – carries its own risks of additional environmental harm and the abuse of human rights...

This paper lays out the principles that businesses should adopt to avoid causing, contributing to, or being directed linked to human rights abuses and environmental harm along the battery value chain, from extraction to end-of-life, while supporting the need to promote a more efficient use of resources, fewer vehicles, and the development of new battery technologies and other human rights-consistent solutions to climate change.

This paper also lays out the principles that governments must adopt, to fulfil their obligation to both respect human rights and protect their citizens from potential human rights’ abuses by companies operating or headquartered within their territory and jurisdiction...

Because these risks concern both human rights and the environment, a wide range of human rights and environmental organizations have decided to work together to put forth expectations for businesses and governments to reduce the above risks. Critically, by establishing these demands jointly, we are showing that respect for human rights and climate solutions go hand in hand, that one cannot be advanced without the other...