Sourcing materials for renewable energy, such as lithium for lithium-ion batteries, can create its own environmental justice problems. Check out this brief report from the Climate and Community Project.
The report addresses President Biden’s recent order invoking the Defense Production Act to ramp up domestic mining for “clean energy technologies,” particularly for lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles and other renewable technologies.
The report points out that “mining is one of the most environmentally harmful industries, with multinational mining companies and their governmental allies subjecting communities to rights violations and outright violence.”
It outlines four policies needed to make sure the new push for renewable energy materials is just and sustainable:
1. Reform the 1872 General Mining Law to recognize Free,
Prior, and Informed Consent of Indigenous peoples. . . and amend to include environmental protections,
2. Rapidly build out critical mineral recycling infrastructure.
3. Invest in Independent and Publicly Funded Research and Development (R&D).
4. Fund a Green New Deal for Transportation,
Read the full report (only three pages!) here