Responsible Transition Minerals

The world needs to stop burning fossil fuels. Climate change is already happening and to prevent the worst impacts we must accelerate the transition to cleaner, safer energy. In moving to renewable energy, the world will be swapping reliance on one set of natural resources for another.

We will be relying on a set of minerals such as cobalt, lithium, nickel and copper, required to produce, transport, store and use electricity produced by cleaner sources. We work to ensure that the emerging transition minerals market is well-regulated, transparent, equitable, and does not replicate the exploitation and injustice of the past.


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An estimated sixfold increase in transition minerals will be required for the production, transport, storage and use of electricity produced by cleaner sources such as wind, water and sun.

But the extraction of minerals is already beset by corruption and opacity, and mining often takes place at great cost to the health and livelihoods of local people. Research indicates that women and girls, Indigenous peoples and environmental defenders are disproportionately harmed by mining. Local communities are often excluded from decision-making and see little economic benefit from extraction. The sector is also environmentally damaging and contributes significantly to climate change.

Fierce competition, demand and pursuit of profit in the transition mineral rush will increase pressure on producing countries to “fast-track” licensing and open up mining in sensitive and high risk areas. This leaves the process open to corruption and worsens human rights and environmental abuses, in particular pollution and contamination of water and land gravely affecting the health of workers and surrounding populations.

Mining for transition minerals which is marred by poor governance, corruption, overconsumption and little care for people and the planet will only slow climate action.

PWYP members work to ensure that the emerging transition minerals market is well-regulated, transparent, just and equitable. They advocate for an urgent coordinated effort to transform the way minerals are extracted and consumed, giving priority to solutions that reduce our dependence on mining.