We are at a crossroads. The demand for minerals such as copper, ore, bauxite (aluminium), cobalt, nickel and manganese is skyrocketing because of the energy transition. These are minerals used, among others, for electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines.
However, these raw materials are often extracted in areas with unique nature, like tropical forests. These precious ecosystems provide millions of people with food and clean drinking water, and support us in the fight against climate change. Mining for the energy transition should never lead to large-scale environmental destruction (ecocide). That’s why we are presenting the House of Representatives with this petition.
- The World Bank estimates that demand for raw materials for the energy transition will grow by almost 500 per cent by 2050 compared to 2018.
- This mining often takes place in areas with unique biodiversity, such as tropical forests. There are also plans to mine in the fragile deep sea of international waters.
- The infrastructure needed to extract these raw materials causes large-scale environmental destruction. We desperately need to preserve and protect our precious ecosystems, which provide millions of people with food and clean drinking water, and regulate the global climate by storing greenhouse gases.
- More than half of the mining needed for the energy transition takes place in and around the territories of local and indigenous communities.
A successful and just energy transition
The energy transition is crucial and should happen as soon as possible. But how do we ensure that we make this transition from fossil to renewable energy as fair as possible, with the lowest possible negative impact on people and nature?
For the energy transition to be successful, we should recognise that the supply of minerals is not inexhaustible, and that their extraction can harm people and the environment. A system change is needed to encourage the sparing use of resources and a sustainable and responsible extraction. We simply cannot afford to let our growing energy needs come at the expense of our ecological security!
Subsequently, we need a circular approach where consuming less energy is paramount. In addition, we need stricter requirements for the responsible extraction of raw materials. A bottom line must be established and monitored: a clear red line indicating where and how mining may take place, so that it is not at the expense of vulnerable nature and people.
Call to the House of Representatives
We therefore call on the House of Representatives:
- To stress the importance of a fair energy transition and system change in which circularity and less energy consumption are paramount.
- To urge the Government to ensure that mining does not lead to large-scale environmental destruction (ecocide) and human rights violations;
- To join the alliance of countries calling for a moratorium on deep-sea mining.
Right now, we can still choose a just, circular system and a successful energy transition. Sign the petition and join thousands of others striving for a just energy transition!
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