The European Union’s energy transition ambitions weave a complex tapestry with domestic mineral resources and those of mineral-rich countries to ensure the necessary supply of minerals. The transition is a globally shared dream, but the dream of Indigenous Peoples and Civil Society involves global justice, a systemic approach, and the recognition of our planetary boundaries.
A number of loose threads are present as this tapestry is being woven. The topic of our conversation is Indigenous Peoples’ rights, the environment, and intergenerational justice concerning mining projects. The panel argues that these threads are structural to weaving a just and sustainable transition. In fact, with more than half of Energy Transition projects on Indigenous Peoples’ lands, weak FPIC protocols in mining companies, including those in the battery mineral sector, and growing amounts of mining waste, these loose ends can make or break the Green Transition dream. Additionally, the long-lasting environmental and health effects of mining waste turn it into a significant intergenerational challenge. Residues like tailings and toxic substances can persistently contaminate soil and water for many decades or even centuries, impacting the well-being of future generations.
This panel will bring together Indigenous Peoples and Civil Society representatives from Europe and Latin America, and it will host the presentation of two relevant studies. The recently released OXFAM’s analysis “Recharging Community Consent” focuses on several intersecting issues related to human rights due diligence, gender justice, the protection of human rights defenders and free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) in the battery mining sector; and the new report from the European Environmental Bureau, “Sacrifice Zones for Sustainability?” about the creation of sacrifice zones for the “Green” Transition illustrating impacts on the ground with global and regional detailed case studies. The panel will discuss these studies and look for ways to accommodate these loose threads in the tapestry to make the Energy Transition a fair and sustainable process.
Introduction (10:30 – 10:35)
FPIC/Mining Companies Report (10:35 – 10:50)
Green Sacrifice Zones Report / Mining Waste as Intergenerational Justice (10:35 – 10:50)
Sami Youth Perspectives From Sweden (11:05 – 11:15)
Resource-Rich Countries Civil Society perspective (11:15 – 11:30)
Questions and Answers (11:30 – 12:00)