The global transition to a low-carbon economy is driving the advancement of technologies that rely heavily on minerals such as cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel and rare earths. Demand for these critical minerals will increase significantly as countries seek to meet their targets under the Paris Agreement. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), limiting global warming to below 2°C could require a fourfold increase in the supply of minerals for clean energy technologies within the next two decades.
For countries that host reserves of minerals needed for low-carbon technologies, increased demand could present a range of challenges. Failure to tackle these head on could result in a missed opportunity to encourage the growth of a profitable and responsible mining sector to deliver the energy transition.
This brief explains how transparency and multi-stakeholder dialogue can be used to shed light on governance challenges, help to identify solutions, and provide a platform for collective action in the critical minerals sector.