The rise of green energy technologies required for a low-carbon future is expected to lead to significant growth in demand for a wide range of minerals and metals, such as aluminum, copper, lead, lithium, manganese, nickel, silver, steel, and zinc and rare earth minerals, according to a new World Bank report, “The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low-Carbon Future.”
The report indicates that the shift to a low-carbon future will result in opportunities for mineral-rich countries. Meaning that these countries should forge long-term strategies for sustainable mineral extraction and make appropriate investments.
Low-carbon technology requirements, and hence relevant minerals and metals demand, rises most rapidly the closer the world is to achieving the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement commitment of avoiding a 2°C rise in the global temperature. The most significant example of this being electric storage batteries, where the demand for the metals required to manufacture the batteries – aluminum, cobalt, iron, lead, lithium, manganese and nickel – grow from a relatively modest level under a 4°C rise to more than 1000 percent under a 2°C scenario.