Transition and Transformation

Critical Minerals

Examining the impact of mineral extraction for the renewable energy transition.

Brine pools for lithium carbonate mining. Image by Cavan Images on Shutterstock. Id-1833634615

Critical minerals are vital for renewable energy technologies, particularly wind, solar PV, and lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles and storage. Exploring the international political economy, regulation, and environmental and social impact of mining for critical minerals is imperative as we seek a just and sustainable transition. This project examines how critical minerals are being extracted at the beginning of the global value chain of renewable energy, including how jurisdiction, ownership, and local context shape whether the impacts of such extraction be can and are being mitigated. The analysis will inform studies on the life-cycle of renewable energy, the potential to avoid known harms from extractivism, utilising fossil fuels mines, and energy security.