Summary of Green Conflict Minerals

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The clean energy transition will boost demand for the materials that make green energy technologies possible. Yet, as a report by Clare Church and Alec Crawford of the International Institute for Sustainable Development highlights, not all countries blessed with abundant mineral reserves stand to benefit from the impending mining boom. An interactive map illustrates the uneven distribution of crucial green energy minerals across the Earth’s surface and shows how high mineral abundance often coincides with high levels of political instability and poverty. Consumers, business leaders and supply chain specialists will learn how they can ensure that the transition to a low-carbon world won’t create new losers.

About the Authors

Clare Church is a research officer and Alec Crawford is a senior researcher at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, an independent think tank with offices in Canada, Switzerland and the United States.

 

Summary

As demand for green energy technologies grows, so does demand for the minerals on which these technologies rely.

Global demand for green energy technologies is growing rapidly. As of August 2018, 175 nations and the European Union have ratified the Paris Agreement, committing to cut drastically their carbon emissions to keep global temperature rise below 2°C (3.6°F). Furthermore, the UN General Assembly’s 2015 Sustainable Development Goals commit UN member states to take climate action and support the spread of affordable clean energy.

China alone agreed to spend $360 billion on clean energy projects by 2020, while the United States has been investing heavily in wind and solar energy. The United Kingdom and France both pledged to halt new gasoline and diesel car sales by 2040.

 

As consumers become increasingly climate conscious, prominent private corporations are shifting to being carbon neutral, and leading car manufacturers are electrifying their fleets. The top four green energy technologies that will see the highest demand in the coming years are solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and energy storage batteries...


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