Warning: members of the public are being contacted by people claiming to work for AXA Investment Managers UK Limited.  Find out more information and what to do by clicking here.

Investment Institute

Understanding and responding to the human cost of the green energy transition

  • 12 July 2023 (15 min read)

Key points:

  • The transition to a low-carbon world has become a political and public priority, putting pressure on all economic players to turn greener and requiring the massive expansion of renewable energy
  • The necessary development of solar panels and wind turbines as well as the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and consumer electronics, relies on so-called ‘critical’ minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, and cobalt
  • With demand accelerating, the intensified mining of these minerals is set to exacerbate environmental and social concerns, in a sector historically plagued by accusations of abusive or unsustainable practises
  • This paper highlights how transition minerals differ from fossil fuels, and explores the collateral effects on workers, communities and the environment, issues that will need to be addressed by responsible investors concerned that efforts to support the transition do not create new harms
  • This paper looks closely at child labour in cobalt extraction to highlight how reputational and regulatory risks can be dispersed, undetected, across the many sectors relying on rechargeable batteries
  • We believe responsible investors can help collaborative efforts to drive more sustainable practices and sourcing policies, both in the extractives industry and along the supply chain
Read the full article
Download article (1.08 MB)


    This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment research or financial analysis relating to transactions in financial instruments as per MIF Directive (2014/65/EU), nor does it constitute on the part of AXA Investment Managers or its affiliated companies an offer to buy or sell any investments, products or services, and should not be considered as solicitation or investment, legal or tax advice, a recommendation for an investment strategy or a personalized recommendation to buy or sell securities.

    Due to its simplification, this document is partial and opinions, estimates and forecasts herein are subjective and subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee forecasts made will come to pass. Data, figures, declarations, analysis, predictions and other information in this document is provided based on our state of knowledge at the time of creation of this document. Whilst every care is taken, no representation or warranty (including liability towards third parties), express or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained herein. Reliance upon information in this material is at the sole discretion of the recipient. This material does not contain sufficient information to support an investment decision.

    Issued in the UK by AXA Investment Managers UK Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. Registered in England and Wales No: 01431068. Registered Office: 22 Bishopsgate London EC2N 4BQ

    In other jurisdictions, this document is issued by AXA Investment Managers SA’s affiliates in those countries.

    Risk Warning

    The value of investments, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.