The Global Battery Alliance (GBA) is a public-private collaboration platform of 70 public and private sector organizations founded in 2017 that has become the global platform to help establish and collaborate on a sustainable battery value chain.
A circular and responsible battery value chain is one of the major drivers to realize the 2°C Paris Agreement goal in the transport and power sectors, setting course towards achieving the 1.5°C goal if complemented with other technologies and collaborative efforts.
By 2030, batteries could enable 30% of the required reductions in carbon emissions in the transport and power sectors, provide 600 million people with access to electricity, as well as create 10 million safe and sustainable jobs around the world. To realise this potential, the battery value chain will have to expand by almost 20 times over the next decade.
Action is needed in the supply chain to establish sustainable market conditions and accelerate battery deployment in support of this vision.
The opportunities with regard to batteries are twofold: how can the deployment of batteries be accelerated and how can these batteries be produced responsibly and sustainably?
To accelerate deployment, more investment needs to be attracted along the entire value chain as well as into application infrastructure including charging infrastructure. Batteries also need to become more affordable through lower production costs, higher utilization and improved business cases for end users.
To produce these batteries responsibly and sustainably means lowering emissions, eliminating human rights violations, ensuring safe working conditions across the value chain, and improving repurposing and recycling. For example, the extraction of the raw materials needed for batteries have been linked to dangerous working conditions, child labour, poverty and other social and environmental concerns. Battery production is also linked to a high carbon footprint and the lifecycle impacts depend on the carbon balance of the energy mix in batteries.