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Card image 20 October 2022 Wilson Center

Green Minerals: Justice and Opportunity in the Renewable Energy Transition

To mitigate climate change, a global shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy is required. And although we all stand to gain from addressing climate change, some communities are in danger of paying a steep price for the world’s energy transition. Renewable energy technologies, from solar panels to storage capacity, depend on minerals like lithium, cobalt, copper, and nickel. In the coming years, the demand for these “green minerals” is expected to soar. But when it comes to producing green minerals, challenges abound. Across the globe, mineral extraction has been linked to instances of violent conflict, human rights abuses, governance risks, and environmental degradation. In sourcing the minerals that will power the global energy transition, how can we avoid the injustices and risks often linked to resource extraction? How can we maximize opportunities for the communities and countries providing green minerals?

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A project of Phuhlisani NPC supported by Absa. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. International License.