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mining & human rights abuses

Mining critical to renewable energy tied to hundreds of alleged human rights abuses

1 min read

A new report faults the U.S. and other nations for providing incentives for the mining of rare metals like lithium and cobalt without enacting adequate labor and environmental safeguards, Katie Surma reports for Inside Climate News.

In a nutshell:

The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act provides more than $250 billion in new federal spending for clean energy, including the procurement of critical minerals and metals. But human rights experts are insisting on meaningful policy changes to meet the moment, including mandatory laws requiring companies to identify, prevent and remedy human rights violations. Alleged abuses documented in the report by the Business and Human Rights Resource Center include child labor, assaults and detentions, lack of community consultation and environmental crimes such as water contamination and other forms of pollution.

Key quote:

“We have to move away from fossil fuels and that requires minerals to manufacture renewable technologies,” said Caroline Avan, one of the authors of the report. “There is no way around that, but it should not mean we have to mine everywhere without any sort of safeguards.”

Big picture:

Global demand for mission-critical minerals and metals and the promise of massive profits are a powerful incentive to cut corners and discourage public input through corrupt processes and at times, violent suppression of human rights defenders.

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

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