“With many European governments subsidising electric vehicle purchases and more calls for a “green recovery” or to “build back better” after Covid-19,” there are alternatives.
“Cobalt can be sourced responsibly, and it’s time to act.”
There are some great battery technologies being developed:
With the West Country as a source of essential minerals:
The only problem being that there are other sources of such minerals – where conditions are so bad that they have been called ‘blood minerals’:
The Daily Mail has been asking some awkward questions of late:
Children paying the price for eco-car smuggery: As Boris Johnson aims for new cars to be electric by 2030, Congolese miners as young as 11 risk their lives for cobalt that green-tech relies on for £1.50 a day. Are our cleaner roads worth their suffering?
- Award-winning photographer Sebastian Meyer reveals pitiful truth of eco cars
- He visits Democratic Republic of Congo, home to two-thirds of world’s Cobalt
- Meagre pay, dangerous conditions and long hours are all part of cruel narrative
- This week Boris Johnson hailed a green plan with the electric car at its centre
Of course, every industry involves extraction – and that can have terrible consequences, even in ‘the West’:
However, such is the ‘ethical load’ on ‘green technologies’, that very high standards are expected…
The spotlight has been on cobalt in the Congo for some time now:
Action is being taken, however:
And alternatives are being sought.
By the market-leader:
And across the industry:
To finish, a piece which brings the issues together:
Cobalt can be sourced responsibly, and it’s time to act
Business and human rights professor Dorothée Baumann-Pauly calls for human rights to be at the centre of a “green recovery” from the coronavirus pandemic and argues the cobalt mining industry is ripe for change.
Electric vehicle sales are booming. With many European governments subsidising electric vehicle purchases and more calls for a “green recovery” or to “build back better” after Covid-19, this trend is likely to accelerate.
Yet, what is good for the planet currently comes at a high human cost…
A better way:
There is a way to source cobalt so that our green recovery from the pandemic also builds a better supply chain, where artisanal miners are not hiding on the fringes in unsafe conditions…