Wednesday, September 20, 2023
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM EDT
Join us online.
Join Oxfam on Wednesday, September 20 for the release of our latest research examining the human rights commitments of over 40 mining companies extracting the minerals essential for the clean energy transition. In the race to meet global decarbonization goals, are mining companies moving away from the sector’s sordid past? Learn which companies are leading, which are lagging, and why future mining can only proceed with the full support and consent of Indigenous and frontline communities.
- Joan Carling, Executive Director, Indigenous Peoples Rights International
- Scott A. Sellwood, Policy Lead, Human Rights and Extractives, Oxfam (report author)
- Additional speakers to be confirmed.
Decarbonizing our global economy and transitioning to renewable power is urgently needed if we are to avert climate catastrophe. Rechargeable batteries provide an essential technology that will unlock this transformation. Unsurprisingly, demand for minerals used in these batteries—including cobalt, copper, graphite, lithium, and nickel—is surging.
Globally, an estimated 50 to 80 percent of transition minerals are located on or near the lands of Indigenous peoples—putting them at unique risks as the mining sector expands to meet decarbonization goals. For Indigenous peoples, free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) is a human right guaranteed under international law. It safeguards the protection and realization of their collective autonomies, resilience, and right to self-determination. FPIC is a collective decision-making process that ensures Indigenous peoples have a say in whether and how mining moves forward.
Mining companies that adopt clear and unequivocal policy commitments to respect FPIC, within frameworks of safeguards that address broader human rights, gender equality, and Indigenous sovereignty, are more likely to contribute to positive outcomes in the countries where they operate. This is particularly important when countries are in a race to secure clean energy supply chains and where local laws fall short of international standards regarding FPIC or human rights generally. In this context, the performance of business matters more than ever. Will mining companies go beyond compliance with national laws and ensure the sector upholds international human rights norms? Or will they hide behind the lower standards in national laws, repeating the mistakes of the past, and further delaying the just energy transition? Join us as we examine these questions.