Building climate-saving tech digs up new problems
The solar power and electric vehicles we need to stop the climate crisis pose a different threat to people and the environment: a boom in mining. Moving away from fossil fuels depends on tech like batteries and solar panels that can provide alternative forms of energy. But digging up the raw materials can undermine human rights and destroy fragile ecosystems. As governments and industries try to tackle climate change by building up renewable energy, they’ll need to consider other problems unearthed in the process.
Policy experts writing in the journal Science warn that a more sustainable future could hinge on how leaders manage the demand for metals and minerals, including cobalt and lithium needed for rechargeable batteries.