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Climate change threatens global supply of critical raw materials for clean energy transition

The analysis you provided underscores the critical intersection between climate change, resource availability, and the imperative for sustainable business practices, especially in sectors crucial for the green energy transition. It’s concerning that key raw materials for clean technologies, such as copper, cobalt, and lithium, face significant supply disruption risks due to climate-related factors like droughts.

The EU’s Critical Raw Materials Act is a step in the right direction, aiming to reduce dependency on single third-country sources and promote domestic production, refining, and recycling. However, as highlighted by PwC’s report, even with such initiatives, climate risks could undermine these efforts.

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The call for increased circularity in industries is particularly noteworthy. Shifting towards a circular economy model can mitigate some of the pressure on primary resource extraction by maximizing the use of existing resources and reducing waste. Prioritizing smaller and shared products aligns with this circularity approach and can contribute to resource efficiency.

It’s encouraging to see that CEOs in the raw materials sector are increasingly aware of climate risks and are taking steps to protect their operations. However, as Emma Cox rightly points out, more concerted action is needed. Businesses must not only focus on reducing emissions but also adapt their practices to the changing climate and work collaboratively with governments and communities to drive systemic change.

In essence, addressing climate-related risks to the supply of critical raw materials requires a multi-faceted approach, encompassing policy interventions, technological innovation, and corporate responsibility initiatives. Only through such comprehensive efforts can we ensure the resilience of supply chains and support the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.

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