The Changing Geopolitics of Critical Minerals and the Future of the Clean Energy Transition
9 March 2023
As the shift towards renewable energy accelerates demand for transition energy metals, such as lithium, nickel, and rare earths, how will resource consuming regions, including the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Korea, navigate their relationship with China and the larger developing world, which hold these mineral deposits and are likely to exercise sovereign control over natural resource management?
Political support for renewable energy has undoubtedly increased over the past 10 years, but this has yet to translate into concrete political solutions—not only because of technological limitations in switching to renewables, but also due to increasing conflicts around critical minerals. Not only do we see geopolitics and securitization of minerals as an obstacle, there are also issues on ecological justice and equitable distribution of environmental burdens that hamper cooperation between mineral producers and consumers.
This description was excerpted from wilsoncenter.org.