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    The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low Carbon Future2017

    WORLD BANKRapports

    énergies renouvelables, épuisement des ressources

    Climate and greenhouse gas (GHG) scenarios have typically paid scant attention to the
    metal implications necessary to realize a low/zero carbon future. The 2015 Paris Agreement
    on Climate Change indicates a global resolve to embark on development patterns that
    would significantly be less GHG intensive. One might assume that nonrenewable resource
    development and use will also need to decline in a carbon-constrained future. This report
    tests that assumption, identifies those commodities implicated in such a scenario and
    explores ramifications for relevant resource-rich developing countries.
    Using wind, solar, and energy storage batteries as proxies, the study examines which metals
    will likely rise in demand to be able to deliver on a carbon-constrained future. Metals which
    could see a growing market include aluminum (including its key constituent, bauxite),
    cobalt, copper, iron ore, lead, lithium, nickel, manganese, the platinum group of metals,
    rare earth metals including cadmium, molybdenum, neodymium, and indium—silver, steel,
    titanium and zinc. The report then maps production and reserve levels of relevant metals
    globally, focusing on implications for resource-rich developing countries. It concludes by
    identifying critical research gaps and suggestions for future work.
    The report first develops a framework for estimating mineral demand in a low carbon future.
    The World Bank, in collaboration with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM),
    commissioned a predictive analysis of future metals demand to support the transition to a
    low carbon future, using the International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Perspectives
    2016,1 which focus on the renewable technology implications of meeting 2°C (2DS), 4°C (4DS)
    and 6°C (6DS) global temperature increase goals. Renewable energy generation (including
    hydropower and biomass) increases in the three climate scenarios from 14% of the current
    energy mix to 18% in the 6DS scenario, and a high of 44% in the 2DS scenario.

    The study focuses on wind, solar, and energy storage batteries as they are commonly
    recognized as key elements in delivering future energy needs at low/zero GHG emission
    levels. That said, we recognize that many other technologies and transmission modes are
    necessary for meeting the strong climate commitments made at Paris, covering power,
    transportation, buildings, industry, and land use management sectors. We intend, through
    this exercise, to engender a broader discussion on this critical issue, recognizing that many
    other technologies and transmission systems need to be covered.
    The next step addresses what materials are required in the scaled-up production of these
    technologies and to what degree will that demand be driven by a range of the global
    climate scenarios of 2DS, 4DS and 6DS. The report clearly shows that the technologies
    assumed to populate the clean energy shift—wind, solar, hydrogen, and electricity
    systems—are in fact significantly MORE material intensive in their composition than
    current traditional fossil-fuel-based energy supply systems. Precise estimates on the actual
    demand for metals is predicated by at least two independent variables: the extent to which
    the global community of nations actually succeeds in meeting its long-term Paris climate
    goals and the nature of intra-technology choices. In other words, for example, not only
    is it a function of how many wind turbines, solar panels, and low emission road vehicles

    This report was developed as a collaboration between the World Bank’s Oil, Gas, and
    Mining team of the Energy and Extractives Global Practice (GEEDR) and the Climate
    Change Group (CCSA). The team was led by Daniele La Porta and Kirsten Hund, with
    Michael McCormick and Jagabanta Ningthoujam. John Drexhage is the primary author.
    Helen Ba Thanh Nguyen provided organizational support.

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