Amnesty International wants battery makers to source minerals responsibly. Extraction of minerals for use in batteries have been linked to human right abuses. With all due respect to Amnesty, it should redirect its focus on the blatant harvesting of human organs from dissidents in China.
On Thursday, Amnesty International cast a shadow on the electric vehicle (EV) industry saying while this industry sells itself as being environmentally friendly many of its batteries use fossil fuels and unethically sourced minerals.
Extraction of minerals used in making batteries has been linked to human rights violations including child labor, said Amnesty International in a statement.
“Electric vehicles are key to shifting the motor industry away from fossil fuels, but they are currently not as ethical as some retailers would like us to believe,” said Amenesty while announcing the initiative at the Nordic Electric Vehicle Summit in Oslo.
It went on to add, the production of “lithium-ion batteries for EVs is power intensive, and factories are concentrated in China, South Korea and Japan, where power generation is largely dependent on coal or other fossil fuels”.
Global carmakers are sinking in billions of dollars in order to ramp up the production of electric vehicles. The European Union’s biggest carmaker the Volkswagen Group, plans to raise annual production of electric vehicles to 3 million by 2025, from 40,000 in 2018.
Amnesty has demanded that the EV industry come up with an ethical and clean battery within five years and in the meantime that carbon footprints be disclosed and supply chains of key minerals identified.
Last month, 14 non-governmental organizations including Amnesty and Global Witness had opposed plans by the London Metal Exchange to ban cobalt tainted by human rights abuses. Rather than an outright ban, they wanted LME to work with firms that produce these minerals in order to source them responsibly.