The 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change was preceded by analysis covering the science and viability of response measures, including both adaptation to the impacts of climate change and measures to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Mitigation issues typically covered the economic, policy, technology and sustainability implications of reducing emissions, but relatively little towards understanding the implications of a low-carbon future.
For this reason, the World Bank decided to explore and study which minerals and metals will likely see an increase in demand to achieve a low-carbon future. Using wind, solar and energy storage batteries as proxies, “The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low-Carbon Future” report is one of the Bank’s contributions towards ensuring this topic is given its rightful place in the ongoing global climate change dialogue.
Based on climate and technology scenarios developed out of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Energy Technology Perspective, the World Bank developed a set of commodities demand projections up to 2050. We did so by providing best estimates on the uptake of three discrete climate-benefit technologies – wind, solar and energy storage batteries – required to help meet three different global warming scenarios of 20C, 40C, and 6oC.
These technologies represent only a sub-set of a much broader suite of technologies and transmission systems required to truly deliver on a low-carbon future. Nevertheless, the findings are significant.