By Leslie Warren, AEL Board of Directors
The Alliance for Environmental Leadership (AEL) brings together like-minded organizations and citizens to defend natural ecosystems, to organize for civic action, and to advocate for Smart Growth because it serves all community members and protects the environment that sustains us. Smart Growth reduces dependence on cars in towns and cities. Unless this dependence falls drastically, our transition to lithium battery-powered electric vehicles will deepen local and global environmental and social inequities linked to high-cost housing and mining. It may even jeopardize the 1.5c global heating target.
We encourage local decision makers to reject urban sprawl and instead, to enact ambitious policies for investing in mass transit and Smart Growth walkable towns and cities. In doing so, we would slash the amount of lithium required for battery-powered electric cars by more than 90% across the US and reduce indigenous land grabs and ecosystem destruction outside of our borders. Modeling shows that Smart Growth land use planning along with investing in transport options for Americans is safer, healthier, and less segregated locally. It is less harmful to the global environment while making rapid progress toward zero emissions.
(Source:Climate and Community Project and University of California Davis)