Greenpeace USA praises Rivian – the first US automaker to commit to not harming the oceans by producing electric vehicles
They join a growing list of automakers and technology companies at the forefront of the transition to greener energy, including Google, Samsung, BMW Group, Volvo Group and Volkswagen Group called for a moratorium on deep-sea mining and pledged not to source minerals from the seabed. The commitments are supported by an alliance of over 90 international non-governmental organizations, including Greenpeace USA and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), united under The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC).
Rivian, which is partially owned by Amazon, is poised to manufacture a fleet of over 100,000 electric delivery trucks for the company by 2024, which will help the e-commerce giant decarbonize its logistics fleet.
Greenpeace USA Senior Oceans Campaigner Arlo Hemphill said:
“Rivian’s promise as an American startup in the emerging EV space is groundbreaking. It shows that those shaping the future of the auto industry are no longer willing to accept the old paradigm that technological advances must come at the expense of our environment.
“As more of these companies make these commitments and support the scientific community’s call for a moratorium on deep-sea mining, we see a real-time dismantling of the business case for the latest destructive resource industry being targeted by corporate interests unleashing. We encourage other US EV automakers to follow Rivian’s lead.”
Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Ben Smith continued:
“While we applaud this bold promise for the oceans, Greenpeace USA continues to call on Rivian to engage meaningfully with unions and workers to establish a fair majority signing process for workers to decide on union representation.”
“Economic and racial justice must go hand in hand with environmental sustainability. Rivian, like all emerging leaders in electric vehicle manufacturing, needs to navigate the climate crisis moment by making clear where it stands.
“That’s why last November we joined 10 leading environmental groups to make our previously private data public Letter to Rivian, stating, “A priority for our movement is to ensure that manufacturing, which is critical to the clean energy economy, creates quality jobs where workers have a voice through a union.”
Greenpeace USA advised SOC Investment Group, a firm that works with the pension funds of over 4 million unionized workers Letter urged Rivian to conduct its business with environmental due diligence and transparent human rights when the company goes public in 2021.
The deep sea is the largest contiguous habitat for species and ecosystem diversity on earth. Scientists have warned that damaged habitats in this slow-moving ecosystem are unlikely to recover within human timescales. Mining in this fragile environment could negatively impact those who derive their livelihood from the ocean and risk disrupting the planet’s largest carbon sink, one of the key safeguards against the worsening climate crisis.
The International Seabed Authority, the multilateral body responsible for both deep-sea mining and deep-seabed conservation in international waters, is in a process of Thoughts on rules that could result in launching the potentially disruptive industry in just 17 months. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress recently passed a resolution in support of a Moratorium on deep-sea mining. Several companies, civil society groups, parliamentarians and stakeholders from the fisheries sector have also spoken out Concern and opposition to the industry. French car manufacturer Renault also announced their engagement against DSM yesterday in France.
 The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) is an alliance of over 90 NGOs, including Greenpeace USA, as well as many other civil society groups that are push companies, including electric vehicle manufacturers, to commit to not using deep-sea minerals due to the significant environmental and social risks posed by the potential exploitation of the deep seabed.
Contact: Tanya Brooks, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist, P: 703-342-9226, E: [email protected]