Resource consumption has grown exponentially over the past: between 1970 and 2010, the quantity of extracted materials has tripled. Not only the overall amount of resources extracted and consumed has risen rapidly, but also the diversity of resources has grown. While half a century ago, only a few materials such as wood, brick, iron, copper, and plastics were in high demand worldwide, today products are more complex and require a wide range of materials.
Current trends depict an irreversible momentum for a global energy transformation. Renewables have moved to the centre of the global energy landscape. Technological advances and falling costs have made renewables grow faster than any other energy source. Many renewable technologies are now cost-competitive with fossil fuels in the power sector, even before taking into account their contributions to the battles against air pollution and climate change. These trends are creating an irreversible momentum for a global energy transformation leading to shifts that will affect almost all countries and will have wide-ranging geopolitical consequences.
This report published by IRENA's Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Energy & Industry, and the German Federal Foreign Office looks into these developments from a foreign policy perspective.
Finding domestic alternatives for rare earths has become a matter of national security, according to a recently released Pentagon report. The United States’ defense, economy, and infrastructure depend on the electronics that rely on these mineral elements. Trade tensions between the United States and China over rare earths illustrate an important dynamic surrounding little-seen building blocks of our daily life.
A new report analyses how the transition to a low-carbon economy – and the minerals and metals required to make that shift – could affect fragility, conflict, and violence dynamics in mineral-rich states.
As the world's biggest polluter, what China decides to do with its energy policy matters to the whole planet. And while progress on the domestic front has rightly won Beijing praise from climate scientists, China is the world's largest funder of coal plants overseas. Is the country employing double standards?
The Exhibition on Environmnent, Conflict and Cooperation (ECC) highlights the unprecedented environmental pressures and climate extremes that the world faces today. It was recently updated to encompass topical issues of sustainable development and peace, including the 2030 Agenda. adelphi's ECC Exhibition is shown during the HLPF 2018 by the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations with support by the German Federal Foreign Office as part of the Climate Diplomacy Initiative.
Working with over 30 partners, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has recently launched the Resource Watch. The platform provides a wide array of data sets on various sustainability topics, ranging from food security to urban climate challenges.
"From Riches to Rags?" looks into the subject of stranded assets in the fossil fuel sector. Stranded assets are assets that lose value, or generate new liabilities, before they reach the end of their (planned) economic life. In this paper, assets primarily refer to fossil fuel resources (oil, gas and coal) that need to stay in the ground because otherwise the 2-degree target specified in the Paris Agreement would be jeopardised.
Representatives from around the world are meeting in Bonn this week to discuss progress towards the goals of the Paris climate agreement. A large part of this challenge involves rapidly scaling up the deployment of renewable energy, while curbing fossil fuel use – but little attention has been paid to the minerals that will be needed to build these technologies.
At the Paris Climate Conference held in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement – the first universal, legally binding global climate deal. The signatory parties committed themselves to a global action plan that aims to keep global warming to well below 2°C and to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C.
The Earth’s front-line defenders are disappearing at an astonishing rate. On average three environmental activists were killed each week in 2015, according to a recent report from the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. Global Witness, an international NGO that documents natural resource extraction, corruption, and violence, reports a 59 percent increase in deaths last year compared to 2014. In total, 185 killings of environmental defenders were recorded by Global Witness in 2015.
The exhibition “Environment, Conflict, Cooperation” (ECC), co-organised by The University of Queensland and adelphi, supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, is shown in Brisbane during 18th July and 4th August. The exhibition is accompanied by a public talk as well as a closing panel discussion:
The growing number and impact of extreme weather events has led to increasing awareness in the extractives industries of the potential negative impacts of climate change. The industry has started thinking about its own vulnerabilities and the risks climate change could pose. However, there has been little research and debate that takes a more comprehensive look at the links between climate change and mining. With the report Climate Change and Mining.