EV Battery Supply Chain Sustainability & Mining

Register for forthcoming report launch webinar on Thursday, July 23rd, from 9-10am PT

The adoption of millions of electric vehicles needed to combat climate change will mark a major shift in mining activities across the world. To get the needed lithium, cobalt and other minerals for the batteries, countries and companies are turning to deep-sea mining, lithium deposits in Nevada and California’s Salton Sea, and further exploiting resources in places such as the South American “lithium triangle” region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) cobalt mines, among others.

CLEE and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) covered some of the basics of the battery supply chain in a recent FAQ. While critics point to the localized environmental (and sometimes human rights) impacts of mining as a reason not to adopt electric vehicles (often ignoring the alternative impacts of oil and gas production), the technology represents a significant leap forward from a greenhouse-gas emission perspective. Lifetime emission reductions of an EV are generally 50% greater than with an internal combustion engine vehicle, and as much as 85% more in areas with high renewable energy adoption.

But the companies, countries, and advocates involved in the supply chain still have much work to do to ensure greater sustainability,  in terms of local environmental and human rights impacts, as well as to promote the equitable distribution of economic benefits for the people living in mineral-rich countries.

CLEE and NRGI will cover this topic in-depth in a forthcoming report, to be launched next Thursday. As part of the launch, please join our upcoming webinar that day on Thursday, July 23rd, at 9am PT (noon ET and 6pm CET). Panelists will discuss mechanisms to address sustainability concerns and build a better supply chain, as well as summarize key findings from the new report.

Speakers will include:

  • Michael Maten, Automotive Public Policy, Electrification, Portfolio Planning and Strategy, General Motors
  • Daniel Mulé, Senior Policy Advisor for Tax and Extractive Industries, Oxfam
  • Payal Sampat, Mining Program Director, Earthworks

You can register for this free event here. And we’ll be sure to blog about the report release on this site on Thursday as well.

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About Ethan

Ethan Elkind is the Director of the Climate Change and Business Program, with a joint appointment at UC Berkeley School of Law and UCLA School of Law. In this capacity, h…

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