Modern Slavery Is a Worldwide

Modern Slavery Is a Worldwide Problem in All Renewable Energy Supply Chains, According to A New Report.

According to a recent analysis from Australia’s Clean Energy Council, there is mounting evidence that modern slavery is connected to global clean energy supply chains. Despite Australia’s relatively minor position in the industry, the research highlights the country’s contribution to worldwide efforts to address the issue, according to a press statement from the Clean Energy Council.

Australia is on track to produce the vast majority of its electricity from solar, wind, hydro, and batteries by 2030, but it’s critical that this transition take place in a fair and equitable manner, according to Dr Nicholas Aberle, Policy Director of Energy Generation and Storage for the Clean Energy Council. Renewable energy technology, like many other contemporary goods used in daily life, might have lengthy supply chains that are connected to modern slavery at numerous stages.

According to The Guardian, Australia’s clean energy sector has pushed governments and businesses to take steps to prevent modern slavery and forced labour.

Increased domestic manufacturing and renewable energy production are demanded in the paper, Addressing Modern Slavery in the Clean Energy Sector, along with a certificate of origin programme to address concerns about slave labour in South America, China, and Africa.

The production of various essential components and the extraction of raw minerals, where renewables are anticipated to take an increasing percentage of the market, are the exposure points that require the most attention, according to Aberle in the news release. The possibility of developing domestic supply chain skills is one of the tactics that have to be looked into as part of a more comprehensive strategy for dealing with this problem.

Modern Slavery Is a Worldwide

According to the report, Australia must consciously confront the issue of modern slavery in the industry because it is on track to meet the majority of its electricity demands through renewable sources by 2030, according to The Guardian.

According to Renew Economy, there has been a rise in the deforestation of the Amazon because of the increasing demand for balsa wood for wind turbine blades. Due to the balsa supply chain, Peruvian indigenous groups’ land rights have been stolen and labourers in Ecuador have been paid with drugs and alcohol in exchange for their labour.

Regarding the prevalence of modern slavery, the metals and minerals utilised in the renewable energy industry are another major sources of worry.

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According to World Bank estimates, under climate action scenarios where global temperatures are limited to within 2 C of warming, demand for essential minerals used in wind turbines will increase by 250 per cent. According to Renew Economy, a single 3 MW wind turbine alone contains roughly 4.7 tonnes of copper.

Between 15 and 30 per cent of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Amnesty International found that youngsters as young as seven were being forced to work in hazardous artisanal mines for less than $2 per day while being exposed to poisonous dust and lacking proper safety equipment, as The Guardian reported.

Cobalt is a key ingredient in the permanent magnets that enable wind turbines to operate at lower speeds while still producing energy. Cobalt is also used to produce batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage.

According to the article, 40 to 45 per cent of the polysilicon used in the solar PV supply chain is supplied from China’s Xinjiang province, where 2.6 million Kazakh and Uyghur people have also been imprisoned, coerced, and subjected to re-education programmes, according to The Guardian.

The U.S. and Australian governments announced their wish to stop relying nearly entirely on China for supply chains of essential minerals and renewable energy earlier this year, citing information that shows around 80% of solar energy technology manufacturing takes place there.

Modern Slavery Is a Worldwide

The government, according to Aberle, has to assemble a task force made up of representatives from business, government, and civil society in order to develop a strategy that ensures Australia’s green energy supply chain is dependable, economical, and free of slavery, as The Guardian reported.

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In reaction to the research, New South Wales Anti-slavery Commissioner Dr. James Cockayne warned that immediate action is required to address the serious modern slavery concerns in Australian renewable energy supply chains and investments. This study is an essential and appreciative industry acknowledgement of the issue and a starting step in finding a solution. But in order to provide access to renewable energy at competitive prices and free of enslavement, we need to see cooperation between businesses, the government, the financial sector, and civil society. If we don’t, the just transition to a decarbonized economy runs the major risk of becoming significantly more difficult.

Adam Bertocci

Adam has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. He lived with computers all his life and he works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. Ryan has been working with Enviro 360 now. He likes to swim and play video games as his hobby.

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