New Report: Earthworks explores the environmental and social footprint of mining for electric vehicle batteries
"Recharge Responsibly: The Environmental and Social Footprint of Mining Cobalt, Lithium, and Nickel for Electric Vehicle Batteries," 31 March 2021
It is critical that the clean energy economy not repeat the mistakes of the dirty fossil fuel economy that it is seeking to replace. The pivot from internal combustion engines towards electric vehicles provides an unprecedented opportunity to develop a shared commitment to responsible mineral sourcing.
We can accelerate the renewable energy transition and drive improvements in the social and environmental performance of the mining industry by reducing overall demand for new minerals, increasing mineral recycling and reuse, and ensuring that mining only takes place if it meets high environmental, human rights and social standards.
This report is designed to inform downstream battery metal users of key environmental, social, and governance issues associated with the extraction and processing of the three battery metals of principal concern for the development of electric vehicles and low-carbon energy infrastructure—lithium, cobalt and nickel—and to offer guidance on responsible minerals sourcing practices.
This report reflects and summarizes some of the key concerns of communities impacted by current and proposed mineral extraction in hotspots around the world: Argentina, Chile and the United States for lithium, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Russia for nickel, and the Democratic Republic of Congo for cobalt.