Daily Review: African Countries Push for ‘Equitable Extractivism’

Daily Review: African Countries Push for ‘Equitable Extractivism’
An aerial view of the Fenix Mine, run by the Swiss-based Solway Investment Group, in El Estor, Guatemala, Oct. 26, 2021 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

A group of African countries called on Wednesday for better controls on the rush for critical minerals needed for the green transition. The group—which includes Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad and Congo—presented a resolution to the U.N. environmental assembly calling for structural change to promote equitable benefit-sharing from extraction. (The Guardian)

Our Take

By presenting this resolution, these African countries are seeking to address the under-discussed “dark side” of the green transition. Renewable energy technologies are clearly necessary for addressing climate change. And as demand for them surges in the U.S., Europe and China, so too has demand for the critical minerals needed to make those technologies.

Theoretically, this should be a boon for the countries where critical minerals are concentrated, mostly in Africa and Latin America. But there is also a negative impact to such a rush. Local communities in resource-rich areas are often displaced by the environmental destruction, not to mention extrajudicial violence, that can accompany mineral extraction, an issue that disproportionately affects Indigenous communities. What’s more, because these minerals are often exported in their raw state and processed elsewhere, the windfalls for mineral-rich countries can distort economic development, while impeding industrialization.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review