Publication / 13 November 2023

The foreign financiers of Argentina's lithium rush: Export credit agencies' support for lithium mining

In the context of the ecological and climate crisis, the world is in urgent need to shift from fossil fuels to a renewable energy powered system. This massive change places Global South countries – once again – at the center, this time around for the supply of the so-called critical minerals needed for the energy transition.

The extraction of these minerals requires investments, and export credit agencies (ECAs) are increasingly looking for ways to support businesses that do what they call "green projects" abroad. These projects are promoted under a market logic, but with rhetoric linked to the climate crisis and energy transition. This raises the question:  should they? And, moreover, is mining for critical minerals a green investment? And are export credit agencies the right agent to help promote a just energy transition?

In this report, Both ENDS and FARN explore the case of lithium mining in Argentina and provide recommendations for making a just transition to sustainable energy systems.

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