The move to green technologies are a big part of slowing down global boiling. Although, as Elsa identifies, new problems emerge when we try to solve the climate crisis by simply replacing one technology with another, rather than looking at big system changes. While EVs are essential for reducing emissions, their production relies heavily on mining minerals like cobalt, lithium, and nickel, which can harm sensitive ecosystems and exploit workers and the rights of Indigenous people, particularly in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chile and Indonesia. To address this, we must reduce our overall car reliance, invest in electrified public transport and redesigning cities, and prioritize smaller, more efficient EVs. Ultimately we must move away from car-centric transportation systems to mitigate both climate and ecological crises. Elsa is researcher focused on driving progress towards social and environmental justice in sustainability transitions and resource supply chains. She has more than 10 years of experience within research, non-government and private sectors in Australia and Asia.
Elsa is a Research Principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), a transdisciplinary research institute with the aim to create change towards sustainable futures. She undertakes applied research to inform policy and practice change in the areas of resource governance, climate change, circular economy and just transitions, across sectors including renewable energy, food, textiles and plastics.
She has worked on collaborative projects with clients and partners including Australian Commonwealth and state governments, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Stewart Investors, Greenpeace, Earthworks and WWF-Australia. She has led several impactful projects to drive change towards a just energy transition in renewable energy and battery supply chains, which have been used for advocacy to shift industry and governments towards more responsible practices. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx