“Metal sets the pace of climate transition”

  • 2021-09-14
  • 18:01
  • News

“Metal sets the pace of the climate transition”

Katarina Nilsson, R&D expert, Svemin on the forthcoming launch of Svemin’s report Climate ambitions and metal needs.

In what way are climate ambitions really related to metal needs?

– To put it briefly, the availability of metal sets the pace of the climate transition. That’s how important it is. The technologies that will replace fossil fuels, such as wind power and e-mobility, are extremely metal-intensive. Climate technologies also require metals that have not been used on a large scale to date. But an increased electrification of society in general also requires more of ordinary metals, not least copper. The single most important driving force for increased demand for many metals until 2050 will be the climate transition. Ensuring access to the metals we need for climate technologies is therefore a challenge and if we do not manage this, there is also a risk that we need to lower our climate ambitions. In the EU’s industrial strategy, the European Commission points out that dependence on fossil sources even risks being replaced by dependence on metal and mineral raw materials.

What role does recycling play in meeting the need for metal?

– It is important to get a good picture of what metal needs we can expect in the short and long term and also how much of that need can be met with recycling. If we are to meet the climate challenge, we will need to work broadly on this issue, both in finding and extracting more metals from our bedrock, but also in ensuring that the metals we mine are also recycled.

Why is it important for Svemin to produce a report on this?

– It is important that investors, companies as well as decision-makers have fact-based data on the table in order to be able to make well-balanced decisions. Material Economics analysis and conclusions now give us an overall picture of the state of knowledge as it looks today. It is important to know which metals risk becoming a bottleneck for the climate transition so that efforts are directed in the right direction. This may apply to decisions on initiatives for mapping these metals, targeted research funds and research programs for sustainable extraction and recycling of the metals and guidance to investors regarding, for example, risk capital for exploration. Svemin has long seen a need to get a better overview of society’s need for metals and minerals and also how much of the need we can meet with recycling.

There is already a lot of interest in the launch event. What are you most looking forward to on September 27?

– Of course, I am curious about how the report will be received because it shows what challenge we have before us when it comes to future metal supply. It is a great societal challenge that really shows that we must work together to solve the climate challenge.

> See details on the launch and register