Mining, Climate Risks, and the Western Hemisphere
Join the CSIS Americas Program for a timely and important conversation on Mining, Climate Risks, and the Western Hemisphere.
Rapidly growing demand for clean energy technologies has made apparent the need for a mining renaissance in order to enable the carbon transition. Many of the critical technologies needed to achieve net-zero emissions, from electric vehicles to renewable energy-capture infrastructure, all necessitate large inputs of minerals and metals. Indeed, the average electric car requires six times the mineral inputs compared to fossil fuels, while the average American is estimated to consume three million pounds of minerals, metals, and fuels over their lifetime. However, meeting demand in a sustainable and secure manner requires a critical examination of mining supply chains, from social and environmental concerns to geopolitical factors stemming from China's dominance in mineral processing, to the long time horizons associated with identifying and scaling up new mines.
This event will focus on how the United States can work with partner countries in Latin America, such as Chile and Peru, to transition to clean energy technologies for mining through development institutions and policy making. Specifically, it will focus on how the mining of resources like copper and lithium, which are necessary to produce clean energy technologies, can be extracted in a sustainable manner, and one which contributes to the economic empowerment of local communities. It will also discuss how the United States can calibrate its policy to build ecologically sustainable and socially licensed mining in Latin America.
This event was made possible with the generous support of Freeport-McMoRan.
George P. Cajati
The CSIS Americas Program evaluates the mining landscape in Latin America and the critical role this sector will play in meeting growing demand for minerals in energy transformations.
Commentary by Ryan C. Berg and Henry Ziemer — January 24, 2023