Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Entwicklung und Humanitäre Hilfe
On 1 June 2023, various stakeholders will discuss how multiple tensions are fuelling a ‚green scramble‘ for raw materials such as lithium or cobalt to be used for renewable energy and how a green and just transition could be possible for Africa as well as Europe. An event by VIDC, in cooperation with WIDE and Global Responsibility
When: Thursday, 01.06.2023, 19:00 – 21:00 Uhr
Where: Diplomatic Academy Vienna, Festsaal, Favoritenstraße 15a, 1040 Vienna
Please register: email@example.com
Due to the global climate crisis, CO2-emitting cars will no longer be permitted in the EU starting from 2035. At the same time, the share of renewable energy has to increase to at least 40%. But where are the ‘critical’ raw materials for all the batteries, wind turbines or solar plants that are needed for these targets to be achieved? In Europe itself, deposits are limited and there is resistance from communities, e.g., in Portugal and Serbia, to bring in destructive industries into their local environment. At the same time, in the EU and the US dependence on imports of ‘critical’ resources and ‘green’ technologies from China is frequently perceived as a geopolitical threat.
These multiple tensions fuel a ‘green scramble’ for raw materials, such as lithium or cobalt, that has already begun, most notably in Africa. The extractive rush once again could lead to a cycle of export dependence, environmental destruction and human rights violations. Production in many African countries is already expanding (DR Congo for cobalt and lithium; Ghana, Namibia or Zimbabwe for lithium, among others), and it has been contested by local activists for reproducing colonial patterns and looting (‘green colonialism’). Meanwhile, 600 million people on the continent have no access to energy – whether from renewable or fossil sources.
In this context, the discussion will focus on pertinent questions: