At the 5th edition of the Paris Peace Forum, actors from all over the world launched the "Acting Together for a Responsible Transition Minerals Sector" initiative. International organizations, companies and business alliances, NGOs, foundations and high-level dignitaries agreed on the need to remove obstacles to collaboration to ensure sustainable access to and use of minerals needed for the energy transition.
CONTEXT & APPROACH
To achieve a rapid energy transition to net zero, the world will need to extract more minerals in the coming decades than have been extracted since the dawn of humanity. The transition would be impossible minerals such as lithium, cobalt, copper, and rare earths, which are all essential in the production of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and other clean energy technologies.
The 2021 IEA Report “The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions” warns that their demand will need to surge fourfold by 2040, raising complex and interlinked challenges:
- 1. Economic challenges: opening new mines is a challenge in of itself, with substantial up-front investments required for geological surveys and infrastructure, price volatility of minerals and long-lead times (16,5 years on average) from a mine project to first production.
- 2. Environmental and social challenges: increasing supply at a rapid rate can have negative impacts on the environment - water depletion, land degradation, pollution, biodiversity loss - and can affect the human rights and well-being of local communities, causing displacement, conflicts, human rights violations or destabilization of fragile governments.
- 3. Political and strategic challenges: the world is increasingly divided over these minerals. Some countries have abundant reserves, others have little, creating dependency and vulnerability for both producers and consumers. Unilateral trade barriers are being used as a political tool to signal dominance but are also adopted by producer countries to climb up the value chain, after a history of mining bringing little benefit to their economies.
In the current state of affairs, with rife distrust between States focusing primarily on their personal supply security, and competing industrial interests, we cannot address these global challenges efficiently. We need a new cooperative, transparent, and inclusive approach to the issues around transition minerals, with the collective, planetary interest at its heart.
Against this backdrop, the Paris Peace Forum has been committed to further collaboration around the sustainable sourcing of minerals necessary to the green transition. During its 5th Edition in November 2022, the Paris Peace Forum launched the initiative “Acting Together for a Responsible Transition Minerals Sector” together with a Call to Action signed by twenty high-level actors from diverse fields relevant to transition minerals. They called for (1) strengthening relevant norms and standards for more responsible value chains, (2) fostering cooperation within and between States on all issues around transition minerals, (3) raising awareness of the public and policymakers on these issues, (4) making the best use of extracted minerals, and (5) unlocking the necessary finance to promote innovation and joint projects.
This Call to Action formed the basis for a coalition that includes the full spectrum of relevant stakeholders (business, civil society, policy) and strives to work for the collective “planetary” interest.
ROADMAP & NEXT STEPS
On the 6th of July 2023, the initiative’s members decided on the creation of a new high-level political body that would represent the collective interest and foster international cooperation to ensure a sufficient supply of responsibly sourced minerals for the green transition.
To take this work forward, the PPF will:
- Consult with the initiative's members and relevant stakeholders to identify high-level potential participants for this political body, considering gender, regional and sector representation as well as personal background, openness to dialogue and political neutrality;
- The political body will be advised by a brain trust of experts mainly sourced from within the initiative. Experts from outside the initiative may be sought on an ad-hoc basis.
The PPF will continue to involve new actors in the initiative, ensuring representation of the various regions and actors involved in this value chain, with new members from the Global South, producing countries and civil society. Meetings will be regularly held with the initiative’s members, every two to three months. The next meeting will be held in the Fall 2023.
CALL TO ACTION
Acting Together for a Responsible Transition Minerals Sector
12 November 2022
With the energy transition needed to achieve net zero, the supply of transition minerals, which are essential to develop renewable energies, electric cars, and battery storage, has never been so crucial. However, competition for these key minerals concentrated in few locations has intensified, leading to a risk of tension exacerbated by recent crises. All stakeholders across the transition minerals value chains (producers, consumers, political bodies, etc.), in both consuming and producing countries, will be increasingly impacted by these tensions. This is why the PPF, together with signatories, is launching a new initiative to take transition minerals governance a step further.
We call upon all actors sharing our objectives to join us today by signing this Call to Action – from private companies to governments, multilateral institutions, and civil society organizations.
- We want to ensure the ecological transition is possible, we know this requires sustainable access to and use of transition minerals.
- We see a need to collectively address existing and upcoming geopolitical, ecological, and social concerns around these minerals supply chains from extraction to processing, reuse, and recycling.
- We commit to removing obstacles to collaboration across sectors, types of actors and continents, working closely with those in producing countries on responsible production of and shared benefits from these minerals.
- We look forward to making progress on our five priorities below in the next few years and to presenting concrete results of our collaboration at the next Paris Peace Forums:
- 1. Strengthening relevant norms and standards on responsible extraction and value chains working towards their harmonization and effective implementation, in concert with all actors in the value chain, including in producing countries, to make supply more reliable and responsible.
- 2. Fostering cooperation within and between States to limit future concerns around access to these minerals, including by cooperating, sharing views and information globally on current and upcoming domestic policies, global supply chains and minerals flows.
- 3. Raising awareness of the public and policy makers regarding the importance of transition minerals to achieve net zero and the risks of competitive geopolitical dynamics to our shared agenda.
- 4. Making the best use of extracted minerals to mitigate increases in future demand and reduce emissions linked to these minerals including through investments and policies aimed at achieving better design, reuse, and recycling, and supporting the development of breakthrough innovations at different points of their supply and demand chains.
- 5. Unlocking finance necessary to promote innovation and joint projects, including de-risking investments in the supply chains or the research and development of new industrial approaches.
The endorsements are individual.
- Razan Al Mubarak, President, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- Carole Cable, Chair, Women in Mining – UK
- Assheton Carter, Executive Director, Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA)
- John W.H. Denton, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
- Rohitesh Dhawan, President and CEO, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)
- Bennett Freeman, Advisory Board Chair, Conflict Risk Network / Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
- Sarah Gordon, Co-founder, Responsible Raw Materials
- Angel Gurria, Economist and Diplomat
- Mo Ibrahim, President, Mo Ibrahim Foundation
- Ilham Kadri, CEO, Solvay / Chairman, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
- Pascal Lamy, President, Paris Peace Forum (PPF)
- Balbine Pascaline Makani Omgba, President, Women in Mining (WIM) – Africa
- Ann Mettler, Vice President, Breakthrough Energy
- Shunichi Miyanaga, Chairman of the Board, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
- Alan Parker, President, Brunswick Group
- Diego Pavia, Managing Director, EIT InnoEnergy
- Janez Potocnik, Co-Chair, International Resource Panel (IRP)
- Bernd Schäfer, CEO, EIT RawMaterials
- Maros Sefcovic, Vice President, European Commission
- Philippe Varin, President, World Materials Forum (WMF)
For more information or to support the "Acting Together for a Responsible Transition Minerals Sector" initiative: email@example.com