World Bank issues metal warning

The World Bank has warned a transition from fossil fuels to mitigate climate change will require large amounts of metals and rare earth elements that could create environmental challenges in terms of energy, water and land use.

The report highlights technologies from wind, solar, and electricity systems are “more material-intensive” than our current systems which means metals demand could double while lithium demand for batteries could exceed a 1,000% increase.

Global Head of the Energy and Extractives Practice Group at the World Bank said: “If not properly managed, minerals could constitute a bottleneck vis-a-vis our policies on global warming”.

Determining which exact metals will increase in demand will depend on the choices of wind, solar and battery technologies, the bank said.