UN-led panel aims to tackle abuses linked to mining for ‘critical minerals’ – by Fiona Harvey (The Guardian – April 26, 2024)


A UN-led panel of nearly 100 countries is to draw up new guidelines to prevent some of the environmental damage and human rights abuses associated with mining for “critical minerals”.

Mining for some of the key raw materials used in low-carbon technology, such as solar panels and electric vehicles, has been associated with human rights abuses, child labour and violence, as well as grave environmental damage.

Cobalt mining, for instance, has led to an upsurge in illegal labour and human rights violations, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Copper mining has also led to severe pollution and environmental damage in some regions.

The global supply chain for other critical minerals, such as the rare earths needed for renewable energy production, is also increasingly a matter of concern for governments as they shift their economies to a low-carbon footing.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/apr/26/un-led-panel-tackle-abuses-mining-critical-minerals