Action Partnerships

Critical Minerals

Critical Minerals Advisory Group (CMAG)

By virtue of providing the critical raw materials for batteries, minerals such as cobalt, nickel, lithium, and graphite play an essential role enabling the transition to green energy and transport. Establishing battery value chains that are sustainable, circular and just is at the heart of the GBA’s mission.

 

The GBA is working with members across the value chain to ensure sufficient supplies for electric vehicle and energy storage are not only made available but that these materials are sourced, processed, transported, manufactured and recycled in a responsible and sustainable manner which minimizes environmental harm, respects human rights and creates benefits for stakeholders along the supply chain.

 

As demand for batteries sees exponential growth and the world seeks emission-free energy alternatives, batteries are an essential component of our future. The World Economic Forum projects that the “production of minerals such as graphite, lithium and cobalt could increase by nearly 500% by 2050 to meet growing demand for clean energy technologies.”

 

However, supplying the future of electrification presents both challenges and opportunities. Adopting a members-led and non-prescriptive approach to issue mapping, the GBA is launching the Critical Minerals Advisory Group (CMAG) in the summer of 2022. The CMAG will build on the successful multistakeholder initiative implemented in 2020-2021 under the Cobalt Action Partnership. The series of collaborative online CMAG sessions, facilitated by GBA knowledge partner Battery Associates, will introduce a range of macro-economic, social and governance issues related to the sourcing of critical minerals. At the end of this members-led dialogue series, GBA will have successfully mapped key issues pertinent to critical minerals of the battery value chain; prioritized issues based on their relevance to GBA members involved; and developed an action plan where the GBA as a public-private multistakeholder collaboration platform with a membership which spans the entire value chain can have a unique impact.

 

Contact secretariat@globalbattery.org to find out how your organisation can join the GBA and participate in CMAG.

 

Cobalt Action Partnership (2020-2021)

Cobalt is a raw material in the production of cathodes for these batteries due to its stabilizing effect that prevents corrosion.  An estimated 50% of the world’s cobalt mine reserves are in Democratic Republic of the Congo, where artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has been linked to the risk of child labor. 

In 2020-2021, the GBA convened a comprehensive global stakeholder consultation process on the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) Cobalt Framework as part of the Cobalt Action Partnership (CAP) to immediately and urgently eliminate child and forced labor from the cobalt value chain, contribute to the sustainable development of communities, and respect the human rights of those affected (pursuant to GBA Principle #8). 

Eliminating child labor requires concerted action on a wide variety of fronts. The CAP focused on the following actions:

  1. Supporting responsible production and sourcing of Congolese cobalt, through:
    • Establishing a common set of expectations for responsible cobalt across the value chain, and
    • Developing a common monitoring and evaluation framework
  1. Supporting formalization of the cobalt ASM industry in the DRC, through:
    • Driving investment and engagement toward on-the-ground projects and scaling-up efforts
    • Identifying best practices within cobalt ASM supply chains that can be replicated and scaled, and
    • Facilitating stakeholder engagement to foster responsible cobalt production and trade practices.
  1. Harmonizing our members’ initiatives for greater impact, through:
    • Facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue for sharing, learning, and leveraging collaboration.

To achieve our objectives – with a unified voice to increase scale and the impact of our individual and collective efforts – we conducted the following activities in partnership with our stakeholders:

  • Engagement. Coordinating international stakeholder engagement on responsible cobalt production practices and sourcing expectations for both ASM and LSM to facilitate the necessary legitimacy and recognition by the market.
  • Dialogue. Organizing multi-stakeholder dialogue and consultation in the cobalt supply chain to create spaces for sharing, learning, and leveraging collaboration.
  • Measuring and Reporting. Facilitating a means for stakeholders to report ongoing projects into a common monitoring and evaluation framework.
  • Best Practices. Fostering the identification of best practices within ASM supply chains that can be replicated, scaled, and attract funding.
  • Mutually Recognized Expectations. Establishing one common set of best practices and minimum standards for ASM cobalt, by leveraging existing standards, thus creating a shared understanding of key principles in the market that addresses local priorities.
  • Leveraging Funds. CAP supported the creation of a Fund for the Prevention of Child Labour in Mining Communities to address the root causes of child labor and forced labor, strengthen mining communities, respecting the human rights of those affected by the value chain, and promoting local economic opportunities and diversification.

The report summarizing the key takeaways of the stakeholder consultation is available here.

Building on the successful multistakeholder process enabled by the GBA, piloting and implementation of the Framework were graduated to a GBA partner organization, the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI). In July 2022 the GBA and the RMI co-funded a series of restitution workshops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to provide local stakeholders with an update on the framework prior to the RMI proceeding with piloting. 

Governance

The Cobalt Action Partnership was managed by a Project Management Office. Decision-making was guided by a Steering Committee made up of voting members, including GBA members and government representatives, and non-voting observers (international organizations and government representatives).

Project Management Office: The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), an initiative of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA).

Steering Committee:

  • Private Sector:
    • Gillian Davidson, Eurasian Resources Group (ERG)
    • Anne-Marie Fleury, Glencore
  • NGOs:
    • Cristina Duranti, Good Shepherd International Foundation
    • Mickael Daudin, Pact
  • Government:
    • Esma Mneina, Natural Resources Canada
  • Observers:
    • Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
    • International Labour Organization (ILO)
    • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
    • Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit/ Society for International Cooperation (GIZ)
    • United States Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo

 

Implementing Partners:

The Cobalt Action Partnership was led and supported by a consortium of organizations that have expertise, field presence, and programs that are aligned with and contribute toward the CAP’s mission.

  • Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA)
  • International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

 

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