The growing role of minerals and metals for a low carbon future

A new report released by the World Bank highlights the potential impacts that the expected continuing boom in low-carbon energy technologies will have on demand for many minerals and metals. Using wind, solar, and energy storage batteries as key examples of low-carbon or “green” energy technologies, the report, “The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low-Carbon Future” examines the types of minerals and metals that will likely increase in demand as the world works towards commitments to keep the global average temperature rise at or below 2°C. According to the report, minerals and metals expected to see heightened demand include: aluminum, copper, lead, lithium, manganese, nickel, silver, steel, and zinc and rare earth minerals such as indium, molybdenum, and neodymium. The most significant example is electric storage batteries, where the rise in relevant metals: aluminum, cobalt, iron, lead, lithium, manganese, and nickel—grow in demand from a relatively modest level under 4°C to more than 1000 percent under 2°C.