The fight for sustainable renewables

Our race for renewables has a dark side, with some of the most important clean energy technologies, such as lithium-ion batteries, bringing unexpected and damaging consequences for human rights and the environment. Although the goals are different, mining for ingredients of lithium-ion batteries can be just as damaging as extraction of some fossil fuels.

UNSW academic Andy Symington researches how our clean energy demands need to not lead to further exploitation of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. But as consumers, can we help ensure that our transition to a sustainable planet isn’t achieved at the expense of the less fortunate? Andy answers this question in a video that's part of a new series from the UNSW Centre for Ideas in which UNSW academics and researchers challenge us to think about how we might not just survive, but thrive in this century of uncertainty.