IRMA Joins UN Panel to Champion Equity and Sustainability in Critical Energy Transition Minerals

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) has been appointed as a non-state actor panel member in the newly formed United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals.

Critical Energy Transition Minerals

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) has been appointed as a non-state actor panel member in the newly formed United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals. This esteemed panel, co-chaired by Ambassador Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko of South Africa and Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director-General for Energy of the European Commission, is set to tackle key challenges in the mining sector.

Building Trust and Equity

The panel’s mission is clear: to foster trust between governments, local communities, and the mining industry. By addressing critical issues of equity, transparency, investment, sustainability, and human rights, the panel aims to ensure that the extraction and use of critical minerals necessary for the renewable energy transition are conducted responsibly and fairly.

Objectives for a Sustainable Transition

The panel has outlined several ambitious objectives:

  • Just and Equitable Transition: Supporting a fair shift to renewable energy sources while leveraging critical minerals for sustainable development.
  • Economic Benefits for Local Communities: Ensuring that countries and communities with these vital minerals gain significant economic benefits, including opportunities for local value addition, while protecting social and environmental interests.
  • Strengthened International Cooperation: Promoting international collaboration through the alignment and harmonization of existing norms and standards, and identifying areas for enhanced multilateral action.

Formation and Goals

The UN Secretary-General announced the panel’s formation at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai. Officially launched on April 26, 2024, the panel will draw on the expertise of IRMA and other standards organizations, as well as past and ongoing UN initiatives, to shape its recommendations. These will include a set of voluntary principles that the UN Secretary-General will present at the UN General Assembly this September.

IRMA’s Role and Call for Input

As a panel member, IRMA is poised to contribute significantly to these discussions, drawing from its extensive experience in promoting responsible mining practices. IRMA invites recommendations from stakeholders on how to effectively engage in the panel, meet its objectives, and ensure the panel’s goals are achieved.

With the active participation of IRMA and other key stakeholders, the UN Secretary-General’s Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals is set to play a pivotal role in guiding the global mining sector towards a more equitable, sustainable, and transparent future. As the world shifts towards renewable energies, this initiative promises to ensure that the benefits of critical minerals are shared broadly and responsibly, safeguarding both people and the planet.

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