UN Warns of Devastating Environmental Side Effects of Electric Car Boom

The report notes that metals such as cobalt, lithium, manganese, copper, and minerals like graphite “play a significant role in energy-related technologies such as rechargeable batteries that are used in a variety of applications ranging from electronics to electric vehicles as well as in renewable energies such as nuclear, wind, and solar power.” Several of these raw materials are quite rare and have few or no substitutes and they come from specific areas of the globe. The production of these raw materials “is often associated with undesirable environmental footprints, poor human rights and worker protection.

Global Research, August 07, 2020
Eco Central 3 July 2020

The United Nations (U.N.) announced Sunday the electric car boom will result in a number of devastating ecological side effects for the planet.

While the shift to electric cars reflects ongoing efforts to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, the UN warns that the raw materials used to produce electric car batteries are highly concentrated in a small number of countries and their extraction and refinement pose a serious threat to the environment.

The U.N. trade body, UNCTAD, has issued a new report breaking down some of the unintended negative consequences of the shift, which include ecological degradation as well as human rights abuses.

The report notes that metals such as cobalt, lithium, manganese, copper, and minerals like graphite “play a significant role in energy-related technologies such as rechargeable batteries that are used in a variety…

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7 thoughts on “UN Warns of Devastating Environmental Side Effects of Electric Car Boom

  1. But let me guess, many of the dame metals when used in specialty alloys for internal combustion engines have no effects whatsoever? The UN, or at least its advisors, might have been bought.

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    • I don’t get any sense the article is advocating for fossil fuel cars, Richard. I think the report was intended to point out that electric vehicles aren’t a panacea – as they, too, have a major effect on carbon emissions and the environment. In fact many environmentalists are arguing that the real answer to high fossil fuel emissions is to improve public transportation and increase active (walking, cycling, scootering) transport through improved urban design.

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      • Or (In cities at least) networked self-driving (electric) cars, which will potentially end private car ownership. A car on demand turns up as you need it, takes you where you have to go, and is less congested because the vehicle knows what every other vehicle is doing and really dense traffic can still flow swiftly. There are downsides of course: Pedestrians and animals will probably need to carry (or have implanted) transponders (“I’m a cat, I’m a cat”), and, with the possible exception of New Yorkers, we will need a major cognitive shift to treat vehicles as a borrowed space rather than a personal one we can mess up and keep stuff in.

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  2. Did you ever read A Short History of Progress, Sha’Tara? It’s written by Canadian author Ronald Wright. He says pretty much the same thing. I’ve always found woman-made technology much more practical and less harmful to the environment – clay pots are a good example.

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    • I may have read it but the lesson of man made technology’s abject failures didn’t pass me by… so man invented a planet gobbling civilization totally unsustainable whose collapse will result in the death of billions of people, possibly the death of a planet. Cui bono?

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