London-based mining company Anglo American claims to be a climate leader, but behind its greenwashing tactics is a model of profit extraction based on environmental devastation, and human rights abuses for Global South communities.
Anglo American’s mining projects have left a long trail of destruction and pain: dispossession of Indigenous communities, overconsumption of water, deforestation, and destabilisation of ecosystems. Chilean authorities, community activists and land defenders have warned its latest copper mining project could contaminate the Maipo River Basin, which provides drinking water for nearly six million people, and melt Andean glaciers at an accelerated rate.
Metals such as lithium and copper are essential components in building renewable energy infrastructure — from wind turbines to batteries. Companies mining for these metals like Anglo-American position themselves as ‘green’ despite their devastating environmental impacts. Wealthy Global North corporations plan to maintain their profits and satisfy the North's clean energy ambitions, by sacrificing the lives, livelihoods and lands of the Global South. This is climate colonialism.
Instead, we must reimagine our energy system from source to use, prioritising justice, equity, and sufficiency. For example, rather than plundering and squandering resources on replacing petrol or diesel cars with electric cars, the focus for governments should be on ensuring high-quality, affordable and energy efficient public transport for all. This would minimise the overall demand for resources, further reduce emissions, alleviate pressure on the Earth's ecosystems, and increase living standards for the majority of people. This is climate justice.
It’s crucial that we stand with communities across South America in their struggle for justice. This week we joined forces with London Mining Network to host land defenders from across Latin America to attend Anglo-American's Annual General Meeting in London — to bring these concerns direct to shareholders. Victoria Uranga, Carlos Mitraud, and Lourdes Huanca have been fighting the negative impacts of Anglo American's destructive mining operations in Chile, Brazil and Peru.
We know that without external pressure, companies like Anglo American won't make amends, so we must show them that the world is watching! Will you stand in solidarity with Victoria, Carlos, Lourdes and all affected communities by sending a message to Anglo American's board demanding action?