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Pb2019 Madrid: Transparency takes bull by the horns

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 16:54 -- John Shepherd

Nobody likes to see their dirty laundry washed in public— airing uncomfortable issues before one and all. Few major organisations have the courage to open their doors and invite potentially critical voices inside.

But that’s what the International Lead Association did at its Pb2019 conference in Madrid last week, when, as we report here and in BEST Battery Briefing, the environmental NGO Pure Earth was invited to address delegates.

It was a bold and ultimately praiseworthy move— one which even the NGO acknowledged emphasised the fundamental transparency and environmental credentials of the legitimate lead industry worldwide.

Health, safety and sustainability are key to underpinning confidence in the mix of battery technologies needed to feed our insatiable demand for energy into the future. Supply chains will rightly come under scrutiny.

In terms of lead, Pb2019 showed the sector is committed to continue growing in harmony with humankind and the environment.

To quote the former US Supreme Court associate justice, Louis Brandeis, "sunlight is the best disinfectant" in terms of exposing those acting in bad faith. Let’s hope the incoming European Commission reflects on that and does not, as Pb2019 was also warned, allow fresh politically-motivated attempts to emerge from the shadows and undermine the benefits of lead technology. 

Meanwhile, we report on the US state of Missouri’s backing for a study that could see lead batteries emerge as the ‘white knights of the road’— easing EV drivers’ range anxiety and keeping their lithium-powered vehicles from running out of juice! Elsewhere, another major fire in Europe underlines the urgency of resolving lithium’s recycling dilemma.

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