There’s a good chance that the laptop, tablet or phone that you are using to read this contains a power storage unit. Perhaps you have recently ridden in an electric car or on an e-bike? They also rely on battery power. A battery is comprised of minerals that allow it to hold a charge and power your device or vehicle. Unfortunately, many of the minerals used to make the battery components are tainted with human rights abuses.
What should companies do?
Companies have a long way to go in demonstrating that their operations do not harm human rights or the environment. Poor industry regulation, or even self-regulation, has led to devastated and contaminated environments, human rights abuses, divided communities, and alarming levels of corruption. Amnesty International is calling on companies to continuously and proactively identify and address risks for people and the environment from their operations and provide for remediation in case of harm. In addition, companies must improve battery design for longer use and recyclability.
PLEASE READ our new paper: Powering Change: Principles for Businesses and Governments in the Battery Value Chain
Read our new comic book on Rechargeable Batteries and Just Transition
Click here for the flip book edition of the comic.
Click here for the PDF comic and click here for the accessible text word document.
How can we make sure human rights are at the center of a Just Transition?
Amnesty believes that human rights must be at the centre of climate justice and a just transition to a zero-carbon future. To minimize the harmful effects of climate change on human rights, Canada must reduce its fossil fuel dependency and greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible. Central to this shift is a massive increase in the use of rechargeable batteries to power electric vehicles and energy storage units.
Resources for Activism
Visit our cobalt campaign webpage for videos, stickers and more!
If you are interested in Just Transportation and Ethical Batteries, please join Amnesty’s Specialized Team on Climate Justice and Corporate Accountability. Join by contacting Elena Dumitru and learn more by contacting Tara Scurr.
Have you thought about how often you use single-use and rechargeable batteries at home or at work? Test your own awareness by taking our personal audit, a fun and thought-provoking way to help you think about how you use power storage units like batteries.
Ethical Battery Campaign Press Release (Feb 4)
The Dark Side of Electric Cars: Exploitative Labour Practices