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In response to the ecological crisis, States and private companies tend to promote a "green growth" based on the development of industries considered less polluting than existing products and production processes. Yet, this increases the extraction of certain raw materials with harmful consequences on the environment. This project aims to understand how the development of "green" industries contributes to the financialization of raw materials and to the transformation of their extraction methods. With this aim, the research proposal focuses on lithium, which is necessary to produce lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. Most of the literature on the governance of the ecological transition focuses on public policies. Conversely, the originality of this project is to use both the literature on extractivism and environmental public policies, and the literature in economic sociology and political economy, to integrate the role of companies, markets, and market institutions into the analysis. The research proposal is based on the case of Argentina – which has the largest lithium reserves in the world – and on the case of the European Union (EU) – which supports the lithium-ion battery industry to foster its ecological and industrial transition as well as its energy and economic sovereignty, especially vis-à-vis China. The project revolves around three components: Component 1 will focus on Argentina and EU’s policies to support lithium extraction and battery production; Component 2 will focus on the creation and financialization of the lithium market; Component 3 will focus on the regulation of lithium extraction in the name of "transparency".
• F.R.S.-FNRS et Fonds associés (hors FRIA)