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Supply of key minerals for clean energy crucial: IEA
By Catherine HOURS
Paris (AFP) May 5, 2021

Governments need to ensure the supply of key minerals needed for clean-energy technology if the world is to meet its climate goals, an International Energy Agency report warned Wednesday.

Failing to do so could lead to bottlenecks in supply hampering the development of electric vehicles, wind turbines and other projects designed to help countries meet their zero-emissions targets, it said.

Clean energy needs everything from lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and graphite for batteries, to rare earth elements for wind turbines and electric vehicles motors, said the new report.

Demand and supply problems varied from one mineral to another said new report, "The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions".

But "the energy sector's overall needs for critical minerals could increase by as much as six times by 2040, depending on how rapidly governments act to reduce emissions", it added.

"New and more diversified supply sources will be vital to pave the way to a clean energy future."

IEA executive director Fatih Birol warned of "a looming mismatch between the world's strengthened climate ambitions and the availability of critical minerals ... essential to realising those ambitions".

Those challenges could be overcome, he added, "but governments must give clear signals about how they plan to turn their climate pledges into action".

Action now would cut the risk of "price volatility and supply disruptions", said Birol.

The report recommended policy makers should ensure stable supplies of the key minerals and set out their long-term commitments for cutting emissions.

Governments should also promote the new technologies and invest more in recycling "to relieve pressure on primary supplies", it said.

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