The event titled "From Mining to the Electric Mobility Industry in Latin America: The Role of Parliaments in Seizing Opportunities and Addressing Challenges," organized jointly by the Observatory of Climate Change and Just Transition (OPCC) and the Government of Chile aims to promote a discussion on the role of mining, specifically lithium, in the context of electromobility and sustainable development in Latin American countries.
The world is paying more attention to sustainable development opportunities. The transportation sector is currently the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world. In line with the decarbonization goal of the transportation sector, a potential window of opportunity emerges for productive development linked to the electric mobility value chain. Investments in electromobility can represent a significant push toward an effective, inclusive, and sustainable future. With the right combination of policies, legislation, and governance, developing the electromobility value chain can position Latin America as a leading player in a rapidly expanding global market. Potential benefits include energy efficiency, the reduction of local air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, positive impacts on health, quality of life, productivity, and competitiveness. It is necessary to discuss public policies and the necessary legislative framework in Latin America to seize this window of opportunity for environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable development in the region.
The transition to electric mobility involves the production of batteries and, therefore, the mining of raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and aluminum. These minerals are essential for the manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries and any other batteries that store energy from renewable sources. Countries in the Latin American region play a prominent role in the electromobility supply chain, from mining essential battery components to industrial production of electric vehicles. Chile is responsible for half of the global supply of all consumed lithium. Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia hold 60% of the world's lithium reserves, forming the so-called "Lithium Triangle." From another perspective, the region also stands out for its productive capabilities in the automotive industry in countries like Brazil and Mexico.
The global electric vehicle value chain can be a strategic opportunity to boost the economic development of Latin America through the development of local capacities. This window of opportunity offers the potential to increase the level of industrialization, have a positive impact on gross domestic product and exports, create green jobs, and increase tax revenues for countries. Legislative action, as well as the development of public policies and regional governance, can contribute to a structural change in the economic model of the region and promote the development of technological, innovative, and productive capacities in Latin America. The exchange of good legislative practices and cooperation between the parliaments of these countries on this issue can lead to a better use of the productive opportunities arising from electromobility, as well as a better response to the challenges that may arise.
The OPCC side event in the Chile Pavilion will contribute to advancing discussions at COP28 on pathways and proposals for developing sustainable models based on the visions and experiences of parliamentary leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean. The invited parliamentarians will present their views, reflections, and legislative proposals focusing on electromobility, illustrating relevant legislation and legal frameworks in the countries represented in the OPCC. Afterward, parliamentarians will be invited to sign the OPCC Joint Declaration at COP28, which will express the common voice of the legislators, highlighting their views and commitments to build a new model of green, sustainable, inclusive, and fair development.