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A new intergovernmental group will try to stem abuses tied to critical mineral mining

Trucks haul away ore from a pit in one of the largest copper and cobalt mines in the world in southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, on June 17th, 2023. | Photo: Getty Images

The United Nations launched a new panel to craft mining guidelines for critical minerals in high demand for electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies.

The newly established Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals includes representatives from close to 100 countries as well as nonprofit organizations and industry groups. It’s tasked with developing “a set of global common and voluntary principles to safeguard environmental and social standards and embed justice [in] the energy transition.”

Powering an economy with renewable energy is a mineral-intensive endeavor. And it’ll take a concerted effort to curb human rights violations and environmental harms tied to the extraction of those minerals. This is just a first step…

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