Frontiers of natural resource and sustainability governance for a just energy transition

Name of applicant

Karin Buhmann




Copenhagen Business School


DKK 9,996,438



Type of grant

Semper Ardens: Accomplish


We explore how institutional investors can shape the exploitation of minerals required for the green transition in such a way that harmful impacts on people and the environment are limited. We look at the effects of mandatory corporate sustainability due diligence and the emergent Rights of Nature regime in this regard. We examine land-based mining and a potential expansion into deep-sea mining.


The green transition requires minerals for low-CO2 power and storing energy, e.g. for cars. Mining often causes harm to communities and nature, clashing with the ideal of a just transition. Deep-sea mineral fields offer potential alternatives, but scientists and communities worry about grave harm to the eco-system. Investors may help reduce harmful impacts through pressure on invested companies.


We look at due diligence demands and their uptake with institutional investors and how Rights of Nature arguments may strengthen the application by investors for invested transition mining to respect the interests and rights of affected communities and nature. Through fieldwork we obtain insights from companies and learn about the concerns of communities, for themselves and for impacts on nature.

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