From the mines to your mobile: the questionable lithium battery supply chain

“Laptops, smartphones and tablets are all powered by rechargeable batteries – and lithium-ion is the market choice. Aside from portable devices, these batteries are also crucial to the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage industry, both key elements of the transition towards a greener economy.

The growth of these industries is fuelling a boom in global demand for several metals which make up lithium-ion batteries. This is particularly true for lithium and cobalt, two metals coveted for their unique properties. Lithium makes a battery rechargeable, whereas the high energy density of cobalt provides boosts battery power.

Global reserves for these two metals are strongly concentrated in regions with weak environmental regulations and workers rights, and where the history of natural resource extraction is one of exploitation and environmental degradation.”

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