Mineral security and implications for the energy transition

Clean-energy advocates must reckon with the thorny issue of responsibly securing metals and minerals.

Minerals and metals have a critical role to play in a low-carbon future — and a potentially controversial one, too. Conversations around extractive industries are complicated by supply-chain issues, social impacts and national security concerns. This is a particularly pressing issue right now as Russia, one of the world’s top suppliers of metals and minerals, continues to wage war on Ukraine. 

The clean energy transition will require using a lot of raw materials, such as nickel, cobalt and uranium. And those materials will need to be mined and processed to make things including electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines and nuclear power plants. While clean energy is currently responsible for only a small share of global mineral demand, that share is projected to grow rapidly.

Jael Holzman, mining reporter at E&E News, joins our hosts this week to discuss the hard conversations many are still avoiding on the social, environmental and security risks of mining for the substances needed to build decarbonized economies.

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