tell THE paris transport authority - no more buses that exploit tibet
Paris’s transport authority, RATP, has completed a test of two buses made by BYD, a company that exploits the natural resources of Tibet (PDF). It is now evaluating whether to purchase more.
BYD, a Chinese company specialising in electric vehicles and rechargeable batteries, has been granted possession of one of Tibet's largest salt lakes. The lake gives BYD the supply of precious lithium that it needs for the batteries powering its vehicles.
For Tibetans, this is yet another example of Chinese companies, backed by Beijing, taking over their land and resources, putting their environment and society at risk. Lithium extraction by other companies has already caused incalculable harm to the environment and society in rural Tibetan villages.
Last summer, London’s transport authority, Transport for London, rolled out 51 new BYD buses in the city following a successful trial. It is important that RATP do not follow suit. They must hear from us that although it is necessary to invest in green transport, these efforts will be undermined if they come at the expense of Tibet's environment and people, who see none of the profits from BYD extracting their resources.
Add your name to our petition calling on RATP not to order any buses from BYD so long as BYD remains in Tibet.
Dear Ms Borne,
We the undersigned ask that RATP commit to not ordering buses from Chinese company BYD. Due to BYD's presence and activities in Tibet, without the consent of the Tibetan people, we are gravely concerned that RATP risk inadvertently contributing to environmental damage, economic marginalisation and even human rights abuses.
BYD manufactures electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries. It has secured a ready supply of lithium carbonate, having been granted a 20-year lease over one of Tibet's most resource-rich salt lakes. Its presence in Tibet with no consultation with the Tibetan people links it to the political goals of the Chinese government of denying Tibetans their political and human rights.
The extraction of lithium and other raw materials from Tibet is taking place without the consent of the Tibetan people. Lithium extraction by other companies in Tibet has already caused grave environmental and social damage to the land and the communities living on it. Chinese companies such as BYD are only able to commercially exploit Tibet's resources because China enforces a military occupation over Tibet that harshly punishes dissent and denies Tibetans their political freedom, including their freedom to determine how their land and resources are used and how their environment should be protected.
We understand that RATP have completed a six-month trial of two BYD buses and are now due to make a decision on whether to purchase more. RATP's policy on ethical sourcing and its commitment to investing in green energy are admirable, but they risk being undermined by purchasing vehicles from a company based in, and extracting resources from, a territory under military occupation and whose citizens are denied even the most basic human rights. For this reason, we urge you not to purchase electric vehicles from BYD.
Thank you for considering this request.