The cobalt challenge – The dark side of the energy transition | DW Documentary

To ensure that driving continues to be possible despite the climate crisis, the automotive industry is relying on electric cars. But many of their batteries use an extremely problematic raw material: Cobalt.

Heat, drought, floods. The climate crisis has arrived in Europe. To ensure that driving remains possible while the CO2 footprint is reduced, the automotive industry has turned to a solution: the rapid and comprehensive switch to electric cars. The EU Commission has decided on the same solution. Now, not just Tesla, but Volkswagen, Volvo, Peugeot and Renault are all investing tens of billions of euros in electromobility. And electromobility requires batteries.

But many of these batteries contain an extremely problematic raw material: Cobalt. Mined in the form of ore, 65 to 70 percent of global cobalt production is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This film shows the dark side of cobalt mining. Child labor is just one of many problems. The entire sector is riddled with corruption. Soil is contaminated and people’s health and lives are put at risk. China’s market dominance is driving Europe into a dangerous dependency. Faced with the gigantic problems posed by the coveted raw material, the EU is looking for other ways to get its hands on cobalt. The film asks an uncomfortable question: should mines in Europe be reopened?

#documentary #dwdocumentary #cobalt

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