#RechargeForRights: Amnesty Canada launches a new campaign to Power a Just Energy Transition

2020 was one of the hottest years on record, making it clearer than ever that governments must quickly decarbonize our economies.

Stop Child Labour in Supply Chains | Amnesty International CanadaFortunately, an energy transition is already underway and gathering speed. However, this transition carries its own risks of additional environmental harms and the abuse of human rights. Many decarbonization solutions, such as rechargeable batteries, require vast amounts of minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel. These minerals are often mined by people whose rights are abused by transnational mining companies and governments and whose lands and livelihoods are put at risk from industrial pollution.

Similarly, people who recycle spent batteries from laptops, cell phones and electric vehicles may be unnecessarily exposed to toxic chemicals in unregulated recycling facilities.

Amnesty International firmly believes that human rights and environmental protections must not be sacrificed to advance climate solutions. At the same time, we cannot ignore the urgency of the climate crisis.

Single use batteries, Mohamed Abdelgaffar, Pexels.com If the energy transition is facilitated by further human exploitation, dispossession, and environmental harm, we will look back on this critical time with regret. A just and truly sustainable energy transition – grounded in human rights – will benefit us all. It is within our grasp.

On February 4, Amnesty international will launch a set of guiding principles for governments and companies to address the human rights and environmental challenges of increasing our reliance on rechargeable batteries. We invite you to join us in calling on Canada to power a just energy transition that leaves no one behind.


  1. Join us for the launch on February 4– Learn why Amnesty is calling on Canada to ensure a just energy transition. On our webpage you will find: a 1 minute video explainer, our awesome new energy transition comic book, and our new guidance to governments and companies called Powering Change: Principles for Businesses and Governments in the Battery Value Chain
  2. Sign the e-action calling on Canada to adopt the Principles (coming on February 4!)
  3. Send a tweet to the Prime Minister, asking him to ensure a #JustEnergyTransition that respects #humanrights


4. Take our battery use self-assessment tool to discover how single use and rechargeable batteries show up in your life. Have some thoughts about that? Share them with us! @AICanadaBHR on Twitter or Facebook

5. Sign up to get involved – Our Energy Transition campaign is co-lead by Amnesty activists who believe passionately in climate justice and human rights.  Join our Climate Justice and Corporate Accountability specialized team of volunteers across Canada and work with youth, students, transit riders, electric car drivers, workers, and many others on this exciting and growing campaign. Send an email to Elena Dumitru, National Leadership Development Coordinator at Amnesty International Canada: edumitru@amnesty.ca


Just transition toward greener economies: Amnesty’s submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights June 10, 2020