The Scale of Justice: Energy Transition, Rights and Indigenous Title
In the context of global transitions to renewable energy and the crucial role that lithium extraction plays, this project examines two interacting claims for ‘rights of future generations’: global scale rights expressed in carbon mitigation pathways that promote the exploitation of lithium resources, and conversely, local scale rights expressed by indigenous peoples that argue for limiting lithium extraction. Lithium batteries are at the centre of global decarbonisation efforts based on ‘green’ technologies while many of the world’s most significant lithium deposits exist in ecologically fragile, ancestral indigenous land. The urgent demand for lithium has outpaced research on its impact requiring new interdisciplinary approaches and alternatives to Western-centric theories and practices. This comparative analysis of environmental claims along the lithium supply aims to identify new socio-environmental practices and conceptual frameworks for assessing and co-measuring local and global ecological rights claims.