In October 2022, lithium prices reached an all-time high. Lithium is an essential component for electric vehicle batteries, and with the current high ambitions in electrification of transport, demand for the mineral has been rapidly increasing, hitting a record price of $74,475 per tonne in October 2022. In Zimbabwe, where some of the world’s largest… Read more »
Land and Mining in the Green Energy Transition
Global mining uses more than 57.000 km2 of land. This area is likely to expand in the coming years due to a rising mineral demand for low-carbon technologies. The more strategic minerals become, the more critical the land becomes below which they are found. This poses a number of challenges.
Military Coups d’État and Guinea’s Rocky Road to Political Stability
While the fate of Guinea’s former President Alpha Condé remains unclear following a military coup on September 5, the ongoing political turmoil is most likely a beginning of a repetitive cycle of a semi-democratic military governance observed across West Africa. Security Defection: Domestic vs. International Community Reactions Guinea is, yet again, facing political uncertainty after… Read more »
Cobalt and the Congo: A Sustainable Green Energy Transition Cannot Be Built on Human Exploitation
General Motors, one of the United State’s most important automakers, announced in January 2021 that it would phase out petroleum-powered cars and trucks and sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Although one of the auto industry’s most ambitious moves, electric vehicles (EVs) cannot be produced or driven without cobalt, we cannot discuss this ferromagnetic metal… Read more »
Green & Sustainable Mining: Green-Washing in the Extractive Industries?
What is behind the recent push for mining companies to go green and improve the sustainability of their operations? Since around 2017, several policy reports and a growing number of news articles have highlighted how mining companies are increasingly trying to ensure that their operations are more environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly. Mining companies hope to… Read more »
Good Reads: Rare Earths and Conflict across Scale
Rare earths metals made a lot of news over the last decade, after most of us spent years forgetting what we once learned their names on the periodic table. Rare earths consist of 17 different metals, from scandium (element 21) down to lutetium (element 71). They are important to a host of high tech and… Read more »
Lithium in Zimbabwe: A future boom of doom?
Electric vehicles (EV) sales are on the rise. One of key ingredients for EV batteries is lithium, which is not that easily replaced as a key element in batteries. Thus, the demand in the lightweight mineral will continue to grow – the investment bank UBS estimates it demand will grow eight times by 2030. Considering… Read more »
Welcome to the Green Curses Blog Series!
Welcome to the new Green Curses project blog series “Energy Transitions and Conflict”! We write about research, news, policy interventions, events, and other items of interest that pertain to the social, political, and economic dynamics underlying the often contentious implementation of renewable energy projects. We focus especially on the potential for renewable energy projects to… Read more »