On April 14, 2023, FoE Japan participated in a breakout session at the C7 Summit on “Balancing Urgent Climate Action and Environmental Considerations" to present the local environmental, social, and human rights impacts of nickel development projects in the Philippines.
Amid the need for swift action against climate change to stop the climate crisis from worsening further, there is a growing demand for critical minerals that are needed to decarbonize the society. In the Philippines, the livelihoods of indigenous and local communities are further threatened by new expansion plans for nickel mining, one of the battery materials (see video above).
At the same session, a local NGO from Sulawesi, Indonesia, also presented various issues of nickel mining and processing projects, including the deforestation of tropical rainforests, destruction of ecosystems, loss of /impact on local communities’ means of livelihood, and criminalization of communities who voice their concerns. Citizen groups from Pacific islands, such as Tonga and Papua New Guinea, also introduced the problems of deep-sea mining and the activities of their citizens.
The six organizations that participated in the breakout session also published the following recommendations to the G7 Leaders and G7 Environment Ministers, ahead of the G7 Climate, Energy, and Environment Ministerial Meeting to be held in Sapporo on April 15 and 16, 2023.
＞Click here for the PDF version of the recommendations
Statement on Critical Mineral Acquisition from concerned members of the Environmental Panel for the C7 Climate and Environmental Justice WG
The Climate crisis is an imminent threat, and it is already more than clear that the Global South suffers a disproportionately larger impact. Today, fisherfolk already find it difficult to go out to sea due to extreme weather events. Children are then left without a choice but to discontinue their education in support of their family. The impacts are thus multigenerational.
And we must not shy away from the fact that G7 countries are those that are most responsible for this manmade crisis. Therefore, it is imperative that G7 countries show leadership in immediately taking actions to prevent the climate crisis from exacerbating globally.
However, there is also a growing concern that some of the decarbonization policies being pushed forward by G7 countries will cause dire and irreversible environmental and social impacts. And these impacts too are disproportionately affecting the Globa South. Large scale nickel mining in Southeast Asia and deep sea mining in the Pacific are just some examples of such impacts.
We will not tolerate that those who are disproportionately affected by climate change, which is not even of their own doing, must now bare the brunt of the impacts of decarbonization.
We, as civil society members coming together in solidarity with the Global South, propose the following policies to be considered by the G7 and its Environmental Ministerial Meeting.
1) Ensure that the notion of “Just Transition” will include adequate environmental, social, and human rights considerations regarding the negative impacts emerging from the introduction/promotion of decarbonization technologies
2) In accordance with the SDGs, and its promise to “leave no one left behind”, ensure the rights of indigenous and local communities including the rights to a “Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)” and the rights to “reject” are protected in all infrastructure and development projects for the pursuit of decarbonization.
3) Take special consideration regarding procurement of critical minerals necessary for the transition.
– Implement binding supply chain due diligence mandates to prevent usage of minerals obtained unethically for example from habitats of endemic and endangered species, or by means which will cause irreparable harm
– In accordance with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Resolution 122 (adopted September 22nd, 2021), support, at the minimum, a moratorium on deep sea mining, and ideally aim for a global ban
Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC)
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