Green conflict minerals: The fuels of conflict in the transition to a low-carbon economy
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) identifies 23 minerals, including copper, cobalt, nickel and manganese, that will be critical to the development and deployment of solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and energy storage technologies. IISD notes that significant reserves of these minerals are found in states perceived to be both fragile and corrupt.
A picture emerges, say the authors, of potential hotspots for increased fragility, conflict and violence resulting from growing mineral extraction. These hotspots are concentrated in South America, sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.
There are real risks of grievances, tensions and conflicts emerging or continuing around the extraction of these minerals, says IISD. In order to meet global goals around sustainable development and climate change mitigation while contributing to lasting peace, the supply chains of these strategic minerals must be governed in a way that is responsible, accountable and transparent. Achieving this vision will require focused action from civil society, the private sector and governments.
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