So-called critical minerals or ‘energy transition minerals’ are the minerals the world needs to rapidly decarbonise our economies if we are to meet our ambitions of limiting global heating by 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Minerals, like lithium, copper, cobalt and nickel are essential to manufacturing solar panels, electric vehicles and wind turbines.
This urgent need is leading to a dramatic surge in demand for such minerals. The International Energy Agency forecasts overall demand to grow at least fourfold by 2040.
The world’s massive decarbonisation drive brings exciting opportunities – including a chance to meet our climate goals, and revenue for governments. But at what cost?
Climate justice requires rapid global decarbonisation – but it should not come at a high cost to poor and disenfranchised communities – those who stand to suffer the most from a destablised climate.
Mining critical minerals for the energy transition must ensure good governance and social and environmentally responsible mining operations.
With the right checks and balances, a modern mining sector can capitalise on the opportunities of the energy transition and mitigate the risks of corruption, human rights abuses, conflict and environmental degradation.
Transparency International’s Accountable Mining Program [homepage link] works with mining companies, governments and communities to strengthen business integrity and stop corruption risks at the very start of the mining value chain: the process of approving exploration and mining rights.
Our focus on critical minerals is a new initiative designed to support companies, governments and communities working with this rapidly growing market.
WHAT DOES THE ENERGY TRANSITION MEAN FOR THE MINING SECTOR?
Our latest research analyses five key trends that present corruption risks in mining the critical minerals needed for the energy transition.
This briefing paper supports industry stakeholders and local community members to understand, prevent and respond to these risks, ensuring more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable mining operations.
CORRUPTION IN CRITICAL MINERALS PUTS THE ENERGY TRANSITION AT RISK
Renewable energy technologies need more minerals and metals than old-school dirty carbon-intensive power generation.
If countries are to achieve their international pledges to reduce their carbon emissions, we require a mass deployment of clean energy technologies. And that means a significant growth in demand for the minerals and metals that those renewable energy technologies are made out of.
CORRUPTION RISKS AND ESG SCREENING OF MINING INVESTMENTS
Investors need to make corruption risk management and responsible business conduct an expectation of the mining companies they invest in.
This is especially critical because of increasing demand for investment in high-risk and emerging markets to source the minerals and metals required for the energy transition.
This briefing paper details three key areas investors that need to consider as part of due diligence on mining investments – country risks, licensing risks and company risks.