According to the world bank's report "mineral products for Climate Action: the intensity of mineral consumption in clean energy transformation", the output of mineral products (such as graphite, lithium and cobalt) may increase by nearly 500% by 2050 to meet the increasing demand for clean energy technology. It is estimated that more than 3 billion tons of mineral products will be needed for the deployment of wind, solar and geothermal energy as well as energy storage to achieve the goal of controlling global temperature rise within 2 ℃.
The report points out that although clean energy technologies need more minerals, the carbon footprint of mineral production (from exploitation to final use) is only 6% of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by fossil fuel technologies. The report emphasizes the important role of recycling of mineral products in meeting the demand of mineral products, but points out that even if the recycling rate of copper, aluminum and other mineral products is increased by 100%, recycling is still insufficient to meet the demand of renewable energy technology and energy storage.
At present, the novel coronavirus pneumonia has caused great interference to mining industry all over the world. In addition, developing countries relying on mineral products have lost their sources of financial revenue. As their economies start to restart, these countries need to commit to strengthening the principle of climate smart mining and reducing the negative impact.
"The novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic is probably an additional risk for sustainable development in the mining industry, making the commitment of governments and enterprises to climate smart practices more important than ever," said Ricardo Plit, director of the global practice Bureau of the world bank energy and mining industry and director of the Regional Bureau of African infrastructure. The new report builds on the long-term expertise of the world bank in supporting the clean energy transformation and provides a data-driven tool for understanding the impact of this transformation on future demand for minerals. " The report also points out that some mineral products (such as copper and molybdenum) will be used in a series of technologies, while other mineral products (such as graphite and lithium) may only need one technology (battery energy storage), which means that any change in the deployment of clean energy technology may have an important impact on the demand of some mineral products. (Gao Weidong)
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