Growing demand for minerals sparks Indigenous outcry over ‘business as usual’ mining practices – by Fabiano Maisonnave (Associated Press – April 18, 2024)

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Indigenous representatives from 35 countries issued a declaration Thursday criticizing the fact that they are too rarely consulted about mining that takes place on or near their lands, an issue that has become more acute with increased demand for minerals needed in the transition to a cleaner energy system.

“We recognize and support the need to end fossil fuel reliance and shift to renewable energy as critical in addressing the climate crisis,” the statement read. “However, the current trajectory of the energy transition fails to meet the criteria of justice, social equity, and environmental sustainability, particularly from the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and well-being.”

The document comes out of the Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Just Transition which took place in New York last week. Indigenous leaders from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Kenya, Australia and Norway among other countries attended.

Lithium, nickel and cobalt are often used in batteries, which are key to both electric vehicles and extending production from solar and wind farms. Copper and aluminum are in higher demand as countries expand their electrical grids.

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