Author(s): Dawkins, E., K. Roelich, R. Falk and M.
In: SEI Policy Brief, Stockholm, Sweden
Type: Policy brief
Link to SEI author(s):
Metals in a Low-Carbon Economy: Resource Scarcity, Climate Change and Business in a Finite World (Policy brief)
This policy brief, based on a report written as part of a partnership between the business leaders’ initiative 3C (Combat Climate Change) and the Stockholm Environment Institute, examines the use of five metals in low-carbon technologies: cobalt, lithium, neodymium, indium and tellurium.
Low-carbon technologies such as photovoltaics, wind power, and electric and hybrid vehicles are likely to play a key role in climate change mitigation. Yet several of these technologies depend on metals which are becoming scarce and this could hinder large-scale deployment.
The authors use a custom-built scenario calculator to estimate future supply and demand for five metals – cobalt, lithium, neodymium, indium and tellurium – under three energy scenarios and three global minerals market scenarios. They find a severe risk of medium- and long-term cumulative deficits of indium and tellurium, a moderate risk of medium-term and severe risk of long-term deficits of neodymium, and a limited risk of long-term deficits of cobalt and lithium.
The policy brief also examines how businesses and governments are responding to metal scarcity, and identify strategies to make low-carbon technologies less vulnerable to potential future supply bottlenecks.
Download the policy brief (PDF: 766kb)
Read the full report»