IEA: ‘Critical minerals are crucial to achieving net zero’

A new report reveals the need for critical minerals could increase by as much as six times by 2040 and warns if action is not taken to guarantee supply, targets will be even harder to meet

Festival Net Zero 2021

Demand for critical minerals will rise rapidly as the world pursues its net zero goals.

That is according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which says that clean energy technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs) and wind turbines will require large supplies of these minerals if climate targets are to be met.

The report calls on the government to take action to ensure there are enough critical minerals to meet demands and prevent price volatility.

These minerals include copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and other rare earth elements.

It highlights that clean energy technologies require far more minerals than fossil fuel technologies; a typical EV requires six times the rare earth minerals of a conventional car and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more than a similarly sized gas power plant.

The report reveals that the energy sector’s overall need for critical minerals could increase by as much as six times by 2040 and warns if action is not taken to guarantee supply, targets will be even harder to meet.

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said: “Today, the data shows a looming mismatch between the world’s strengthened climate ambitions and the availability of critical minerals that are essential to realising those ambitions.

“The challenges are not insurmountable but governments must give clear signals about how they plan to turn their climate pledges into action. By acting now and acting together, they can significantly reduce the risks of price volatility and supply disruptions.”

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