On 28 February, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) issued a statement pushing for a robust management and traceability for the sustainable and circular use of climate-critical raw materials.
Within its statement, UNECE acknowledges that minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and copper are essential for digitalisation, for renewable energy technologies, and for the further deployment of electric vehicles. Moreover, UNECE states that CRMs constitute critical public goods that must be produced, used and reused without jeopardizing our shared future.
Therefore, UNECE recognises the need to anticipate how production and use of CRMs will impact societies and the environment, and there is a need for rigorous analytical tools.
UNECE proposes the following actions for resource industries that include:
Social Contract: a comprehensive Socio-Environmental-Economic Contract to Operate that integrates consideration of impacts on societies and communities, the need for a just transition, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and environmental stewardship;
Sustainable Finance Framework: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)-focused funding based on common sustainable finance principles and taxonomy;
Sustainable Resource Management System: A shared, principles-based, Integrated, Sustainable Resource Management System;
Supply Chain Traceability: A comprehensive framework for traceability, transparency, and sustainability in extractives related supply chains;
Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs): SEAs of plans and programmes to mitigate possible negative impacts and to weigh environmental and health impacts of alternatives, including, as required, in a transboundary context, identify more sustainable solutions, and engage authorities and the public.
To read the full statement, please click here.